Social advertising

Wondering whether using social media for advertising purposes is crossing the line? According to a new social media study by Nielsen, New York, one-third of people think ads on social networks are annoying; however, 26 percent are OK with ads that are identified based on their profile information, and another 26 percent are more likely to pay attention to an ad that has been posted by one of their social networking connections. The study also found that U.S. Asian consumers are the most likely to engage with social ads, while white consumers are the least likely to engage with ads on social networks.


Kick-starting the day

Move over, orange juice! Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo launched Kickstart by Mountain Dew for the breakfast occasion. The sparkling juice drink combines the taste of Mountain Dew with 5 percent fruit juice and caffeine. Available in Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch flavors, each 16-ounce can contains
80 calories and
92 mg of caffeine.


What’s in a name?

 At the end of January, Budweiser asked its Facebook fans and Twitter followers to send along naming suggestions for the new baby Clydesdale that starred in its Super Bowl XLVII commercial. After receiving more than 60,000 tweets, Facebook comments, calls and direct messages, the name Hope was selected. According to St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the name is a nod to the optimism and happy ending of the commercial where the trainer reunites with the horse he raised from a foal. Other popular names submitted included Landslide (after the Fleetwood Mac song in the commercial), Buddy, Star, Raven, Spirit and Stevie. Budweiser also announced that the first male Clydesdale born in 2013 will be named Stan after the recently deceased baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial. 


Smiles around the world

Lipton, a brand of Unilever USA, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., celebrated the feel-good moments of its tea fans around the world with the launch of Liptagram, its first global photo contest. This competition, which ended March 2, invited Lipton fans to share uplifting moments via Instagram for the chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Kenya to visit Lipton’s Rainforest Alliance-certified tea estates. Residents of Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United States submitted photos with themes celebrating Lipton’s core values: brightness, excitement, uplifting and spontaneous.


From the heart

Diet Coke, a brand of Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Co., partnered with actress Minka Kelly to support the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s The Heart Truth campaign to raise awareness about heart health. New packages of the diet soda featured the hashtag #ShowYourHeart to encourage fans to share heart-inspired photos showing what “Show Your Heart” means to them. Each photo shared via Twitter or Instagram in February triggered a $1 donation from Diet Coke to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health for as much as $100,000 in support of women’s heart health research programs.


Mountain Dew’s new tune

Mountain Dew, a brand of PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y., tapped into its Southern roots and welcomed country music star Brantley Gilbert to the family. “I have been a fan of Mountain Dew for as long as I can remember,” Gilbert said in a statement. “I’m honored to be able to partner up with the Dew family for some exciting projects this year.” The brand partnered with Gilbert because he exemplifies what Mountain Dew stands for — not conforming to traditional molds and staying true to yourself — in the way that Gilbert performs country music true to its rebel roots, the company says.


Sweet home Chicago

Absolut Vodka, a brand of Purchase, N.Y.-based Pernod Ricard USA, is collaborating with the online art community Threadless to host a challenge to create Chicago-themed artwork for the next limited-edition bottle in Absolut’s city-inspired series. Fans 25 years of age and older submitted designs for online public voting. Absolut and Threadless executives will select a winner from the online finalists to be announced in the fall when the new bottle is launched. Absolut previously released New Orleans-, Los Angeles-, Boston-, Brooklyn-, San Francisco- and Miami-themed bottles.


Better coffee, better day

 Waterbury, Vt.-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ consumer research has shown that, for coffee drinkers, better-quality coffee can result in a better day. Building on this simple message, the brand created its latest TV campaign, “Perspectives,” in the first-person perspective to convey how Green Mountain’s unique qualities can improve a person’s outlook and day, the company says. These 15- and 30-second TV spots open with the words “Good morning” superimposed over a scenic sunrise and then segue to a shot of a cup of Green Mountain bearing the words “Great morning” in front of the same sunrise. These commercials will run on national networks and cable through mid-June, it adds.