Thursday, May 31, 2012

Outside Television to Launch June 2012

In the upcoming weeks, Comcast will launch Outside Television, a cable network born of the 35-year-old Outside Magazine. The network will provide content focusing on skiing, running, hiking, surfing and other outdoor activities to a group of approximately 140 million outdoor enthusiasts across the United States.

The network will be available as part of a package of specialty sports and lifestyle channels on Comcast's Xfinity TV in key markets near coastlines, mountains, and the Great Lakes, where outdoor activities dominate the local lifestyle. The birth of the new channel reflects the continuous increase in spending time outside as more Americans aspire towards healthier lifestyles.    

Some of the channel's content will be supported by a brand or sponsor, such as the North Face Expeditions program and Warren Miller Entertainment. Outside TV will also work collaboratively with Outside Magazine to provide integrated opportunities for advertisers across television, print, online, mobile, and social media channels. 

Outside Magazine's video content has until recently lived on YouTube, so the new TV network serves as a significant step for mass distribution. Dennis Gillespie, senior VP of Distribution for Outside Television, hopes the new network will encourage an influx of converts to the outdoorsy way of life.

Outside Magazine already acts as a Bible for those who are passionate the active outdoor lifestyle. I think extending their reach with a TV network has the potential to be hugely successful in speaking to a larger audience, and thus allow brands to gain greater awareness and customer loyalty.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Nike Men's Tailwind Tee "Runs Hard, Feels Soft, No Sweat."

In preparation for the impending summer season, Nike has reintroduced their Tailwind V-Neck T-shirt. A summer staple of the Nike Dri-FIT collection, the Tailwind Tee has a cotton and polyester blend that makes it softer against the skin and wicks moisture away from the body to keep runners dry and comfortable in the hot summer months. There's also a small back zip pocket to stash essentials like keys and cash.

The shirt enables air circulation with underarm ventilation pockets, leverages moisture-wicking and quick-drying technology, and provides a nonrestrictive and natural fit. Nike positions Tailwind as an item that "Runs Hard, Feels Soft, No Sweat." The tee quickly wicks away sweat instead of using it as a resource, and the product is a favorite amongst hard-core runners.

The Tailwind technology line also includes a collection of footwear, jackets, and sunglasses. The products are multi-sport appropriate, though Nike leverages Tailwind to support its ever-expanding audience of runners.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Life is good Transforms Digital Presence

Speaking from my vast expertise within the world of online shopping, I can say with confidence that it is incredibly rare to have a memorable experience.  In fact, I usually end up feeling pretty guilty about my behavior. I've found that most e-tailers offer the same streamlined process that quickly pushes the user from browsing to the shopping cart to check-out, with no attempt to reinforce what they stand for as a company or provide a chance to engage with the brand. And while I understand that the main goal is to drive sales and it's hard to differentiate from other e-commerce platforms, Life is good has managed to create a premium online experience that merges content, commerce, community and charity into one branded digital ecosystem.

Life is good recently partnered with digital agency Fluid Inc., a digital commerce innovator who has also worked with major outdoor brands such as The North Face in past years. Life is good tasked Fluid with the challenge of elevating the brand's message of optimism within each element of the site, in everything from user interface to product photography. 

The new website, which is now divided into four core modules, is an absolute reflection of the brand's commitment to to spreading the power of optimism and helping children at risk of violence, illness, and poverty. The site structure makes sharing, donating, and volunteering to Life is good's charitable arm incredibly easy for the user by integrating tools into each vertical of the site. For example, it's incredible simple for the user to add a donation to a clothing order during the shopping process, without traveling to a new hub within the site. Curated social media feeds built into the interface also allow visitors to browse and share user-generated content to create an ongoing cycle of brand engagement.

Life is good is ultimately working to create a model in which optimistic content and product are invariably connected, and so too are the experiences of online shopping and brand engagement. Moving forward, both content and products on the site will be tagged, so keywords searches will returns results for content and product that share those tags.