Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Mobile with MoonPie Drop

The corner of St. Joseph and St. Francis Streets in downtown Mobile will be the hot spot for New Year’s fun this year. Prepare for a “Fantastic Voyage,” as Lakeside warms up the crowd before legendary rockers Three Dog Night ring in 2012, along with the MoonPie Drop, a laser show and fireworks from atop the RSA BankTrust Building and in Mobile Bay. The event has caught the eye of Travel + Leisure magazine and USA Today, both of which are planning to showcase Mobile’s MoonPie in the coming days.

The events will kick off with a Mardi Gras-style parade at 7:30 p.m. that will parade through downtown. Lakeside and their funky “Fantastic Voyage” will kick off at 9:00 p.m. and be followed by Three Dog Night from 11:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The music will be both diverse and family-friendly taking revelers on a musical flashback. Whether you prefer RC Cola or a glass of champagne, ring in the New Year in downtown Mobile.

“We looked at several locations and wanted to bring the MoonPie Drop and stage location closer together,” said Mayor Sam Jones of Mobile. “The combination of the great entertainment, the uniqueness of the MoonPie Drop and an anticipated large crowd have the makings of one amazing evening,” said Jones. “Our sponsors are making this possible and we are delighted that nearly 20 media markets will be counting down the new year live from Mobile, Alabama.”

The new stage location, adjacent to Bienville Square, will allow for larger crowds, better protection from the weather and great views of the MoonPie and the fireworks shows. A new VIP area on the sixth floor of the RSA BankTrust Building parking deck will enable sponsors to get a bird’s eye view of the entertainment and the falling cookie. The 12-foot-tall electronic MoonPie will descend from the 34-story RSA BankTrust skyrise as the city welcomes 2012 and the beginning of Mardi Gras season.

This year’s MoonPie Over Mobile celebration will start with a Mardi Gras-style parade double the size of the 2010 parade and will feature floats, bands and a few surprises. Afterwards, a street party of live entertainment will help draw thousands of people downtown. Downtown Mobile will be one giant street party that will last into the early hours of the New Year.

“Mobile’s New Year’s Eve Celebration featuring the MoonPie Over Mobile has become a cultural phenomenon in the entire USA,” said Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson.  “Last year we had more than 40,000 people attend MoonPie Over Mobile and we hope to make it even larger this year,” said Richardson. “I look forward to this New Year’s Eve being the best that has ever been in our city.” First started in 2008, MoonPie Over Mobile gives locals and tourists a chance to experience New Year’s Eve with a bit of Mardi Gras flavor. “It is time to ‘Celebrate,’ just like the Three Dog Night song.” Richardson is credited for creating the MoonPie Over Mobile concept.

“All eyes will be on Mobile this New Year’s Eve,” said Kent Blackinton, general manager of Renaissance Riverview Plaza and president of the Mobile Hotel Association. “We are going to make a great party even better this year, and we are looking to fill the streets of Mobile and the hotel rooms in the city. Television viewers throughout the Central Time Zone can watch MoonPie Over Mobile live in a 35-minute telecast on Raycom stations, but we would rather have you being part of the excitement.”

 

Why a MoonPie?

Mobile is the home of America’s first Mardi Gras celebration, and the MoonPie is the favored “throw” of the hundreds of Mardi Gras maskers riding the floats during the extensive Mardi Gras parade season.  MoonPies were first thrown from Mardi Gras floats in 1952. Today, Mobile consumes more than four million MoonPies annually, and has adopted the delicious treat as an informal emblem. For the MoonPie Over Mobile celebration, this southern city has teamed up with Chattanooga Bakery, the maker of the iconic MoonPie marshmallow sandwich, to create the largest electronic MoonPie as the featured attraction for its New Year’s Eve celebration. This is the fourth year an electronic version of the delicious treat will light up downtown Mobile.

Mardi Gras was first discovered in the New World in 1703 at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff, the first settlement in Mobile. The first masked parading society, the Cowbellion de Rakin society, was formed in 1830. Mobile currently has more than 50 parading and non-parading organizations. An estimated 850,000 people attend parades, parties and other organizations associated with the carnival festivities. This number will likely increase in 2012.

 

About Lakeside

The Lakeside journey began when a group of high school students from Ohio formed a band made up of talented musicians and has sustained them for more than 27-years. Recording moguls Motown, ABC and Solars have felt the Lakeside vibe producing many of the “Fantastic Voyage” mega hits that took the music industry by storm. The sound of funk hits such as “All The Way Live”, “Raid” and “Outrageous”, are known to draw people to the dance floor like a magnet to metal. And of course, there is the Lakeside anthem that sets the band apart from all the rest. Brought back by Coolio, “Fantastic Voyage” boasts to be the only song to knock Michael Jackson’s “Heartbreak Hotel” from the number one position on the Billboard Charts in 1980. The hit single “Fantastic Voyage” continues to entertain new and seasoned fans.

 

About Three Dog Night

Legendary music icons, Three Dog Night, celebrate their 4th decade, performing to sell-out crowds and bringing along some of the most astonishing chart statistics in popular music including 21 consecutive Top 40 hits, including three #1 singles, 11 Top 10’s, and 12 straight RIAA Certified Gold LPs.

Perfectly re-creating their larger than life songs, Three Dog Night will perform their hits including “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)”,  “Joy to The World”, “Black and White”,  “Shambala”, “One”, “Liar”, “Celebrate” and many more songs that drive their success. Three Dog Night, which is made up of founding members Cory Wells and Danny Hutton on lead vocals, original band mates Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards) and Michael Allsup (guitar) and completed by Paul Kingery (bass and vocals) and Pat Bautz (drums), now perform for audiences spanning several generations. After nearly 40 years together, Three Dog Night continues to grow its fan base and develop new ways of doing business.   Since 1986, they have performed over 2,000 shows including two Super Bowls.

 

Where Will MoonPie Over Mobile Be Televised?

Raycom Media will be doing a live 35-minute telecast from MoonPie Over Mobile. It will be telecast on the following stations:  WAFF – Huntsville, AL; WBRC – Birmingham, AL; WSFA – Montgomery, AL; WDFX – Dothan, AL; WTVM – Columbus, GA; WPGX – Panama City, FL; WLOX – Biloxi, MS; WDAM – Hattiesburg, MS; WLBT – Jackson, MS; KAIT –  Jonesboro, AR; KTRE – Lufkin, TX; KLTV – Tyler, TX; KCBD – Lubbock, TX; WAFB – Baton Rouge, LA; KPLC – Lake Charles, LA; KSLA – Shreveport, LA; WMC – Memphis, TN; KFVS – Cape Giradeau, MO and KYOU – Ottumwa, IA. Locally, WKRG in Mobile will air the telecast. Other stations are certainly welcome to create their own live telecast.

 

MoonPie Over Mobile Timeline

New Year’s Eve – Saturday, December 31

7:30 p.m. – New Year’s Eve Parade

The downtown parade will feature some of Mobile’s best Mardi Gras floats and marching bands. As America’s first Mardi Gras, Mobile takes great pride in this family-friendly celebration.

8:45 p.m. – Opening ceremony and remarks on Main Stage

Mobile’s elected officials will officially kick off the MoonPie Over Mobile celebration and help prepare the crowd to welcome the New Year and Mardi Gras season. Street vendors will offer a variety of food and drink options for the revelers. *** No glass containers will be allowed on Mobile streets during these events.***

9:00 p.m. –Lakeside performs on the Main Stage.

Get ready for a “Fantastic Voyage” as Lakeside hits the stage. Dauphin and Royal Streets will become a funky party full of fun.

11:00 p.m. – Three Dog Night performs on the Main Stage.

International hits include “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)”, “Joy to The World,” “Black and White,”  “Shambala,” “One,” “Liar,” “Celebrate,” and many more.

11:30 p.m. – Light show begins downtown

Three Dog Night will continue to perform as the lights of RSA Battle House Tower and the Renaissance Riverview Plaza put on a light show for the crowd.

11:59 p.m. – Countdown starts as the giant MoonPie descends from atop the RSA BankTrust Building.

Midnight – MoonPie Drop reaches 6th floor of building. Laser and fireworks show over downtown Mobile.

In addition to the giant MoonPie and laser show on the RSA BankTrust Building, Mobile will have two synchronized fireworks shows to help properly welcome 2012.

12:30 a.m. –Three Dog Night performance concludes.

Crowds enter downtown bars, restaurants and hotels to continue celebrating the New Year.

 

MoonPie Over Mobile Sponsors

City of Mobile

Retirement Systems of Alabama

Thyssenkrupp

International Shipholding

Signal International

Blue Gill Restaurant

SMG

Toomy’s Mardi Gras

Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau

Chattanooga Bakery

 

Additional Information

For details on MoonPie Over Mobile, visit www.mobilenewyear.com

Information on visiting Mobile and images can be found  www.mobile.org.

More information on Three Dog Night is available at www.threedognight.com

Facebook Antivirus Marketplace Launches Offering Free Security Software Downloads

Today Facebook announced the launch of the Facebook Antivirus Marketplace, developed with Facebook industry partners to enhance protection for people on Facebook.

Antivirus Marketplace Project from Facebook

Microsoft, McAfee, TrendMicro, Sophos and Symantec will augment Facebook’s URL blacklist system with their own URL blacklist databases. The AV Marketplace will also let people download six-month licenses to full versions of anti-virus software at no charge.

Visit the AV Marketplace here. Learn more about the partnership on the Facebook Security Page.

Epson America Ships World’s First Android Based See Through Wearable Display

Moverio Glasses See Through Wearable Display

EPSON Moverio BT100 See Through Display

Offers New Way to Interact with 2D and 3D Digital Content and Innovative Platform for Android-based App Development

Epson America, Inc. today announced its newest and most innovative display technology, EPSON® Moverio™ BT-100, the world’s first Android-based see-through wearable display. Using micro-projection technology and an Android-powered track-pad controller, Moverio allows users to view streaming video, experience side-by-side 3D content and enjoy downloaded digital content on a virtual 80-inch perceived screen¹ projected into the user’s real environment. Featuring built-in Wi-Fi® connectivity² and nearly six hours of rechargeable battery life³, Moverio offers an innovative, portable way to interact with content from virtually any location. Users can also easily access downloaded content via the micro SDHC card slot (4GB card included) and built-in 1GB internal user storage, even without wireless network access.

“As the world leader in visual imaging technology, Epson continually strives to set industry benchmarks for quality and innovation,” said Anna Jen, director of New Business Development, Epson America. “The Moverio BT-100 see-through display is poised to significantly impact not only the way people interact with content for personal enjoyment, but the development of content for future applications – from virtual training platforms to a new way to interact with 3D CAD environments to visualizing 3D design renderings.”

Enhanced Mobility and New Content Interaction

Moverio BT-100 leverages Epson’s leadership in LCD technology and visual imaging to project an 80-inch perceived “floating” display into the user’s environment for browsing the web, playing games, watching videos and interacting with content privately, while still allowing the user to experience and see the real world. Using Moverio’s Android-powered controller with Wi-Fi connectivity, users can watch streaming video from sites such as YouTube or Vimeo or manage, download and interact with apps and content from nearly anywhere. Additional features of the Android-powered controller include:

  • Enhanced Mobility: Rechargeable battery offers nearly six hours of battery life
  • Removable Memory: Built-in card slot supports up to 32GB microSDHC card
  • Download and Go: Transfer content, games and apps to the included 4GB microSDHC card or internal 1GB of user storage on the controller
  • Adobe® Flash® 11 Support: Stream videos from popular television websites featuring Flash 11 content and content rich Flash-enabled websites
  • Big Sound: Dolby® Mobile surround sound delivered to personal earphones or Moverio’s detachable earphones (included in-box)
  • Innovative Navigation: Touch-enabled track pad and navigational buttons enable easy interaction of content
  • Immersive 3D: Enjoy side-by-side 3D content like never before

Android Development Support

Moverio BT-100 offers a unique platform for technology enthusiasts and developers to create new Android-based applications and side-by-side 3D content for this innovative see-through display technology. To help support application and content development for Moverio BT-100, Epson is offering a range of programs for developers residing in the United States. For additional information on the Moverio BT-100 Android developer program, please visit www.epson.com/moverio.

Moverio Pricing and Availability

The EPSON Moverio BT-100 ($699.99 MSRP) is now available through Epson’s own retail site www.epsonstore.com, select resellers and by pre-order on Amazon.com.

About Epson
Epson is a global imaging and innovation leader dedicated to exceeding the vision of customers worldwide through its compact, energy-saving, high-precision technologies, with a product line-up ranging from printers and 3LCD projectors for enterprise and the home, to sensors and other microdevices. Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 78,000 employees in 99 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and the communities in which it operates. To learn more about Epson, please visit: http://global.epson.com.

You may also connect with Epson America on Facebook (http://facebook.com/EpsonAmerica), Twitter (http://twitter.com/EpsonAmerica and http://twitter.com/EpsonEducation) and YouTube (http://youtube.com/EpsonTV).

New Survey Shows Visa and Coca-Cola are Brands That Have Staying Power

According to the 23rd Annual Harris Poll® EquiTrend® Study, fifteen brands celebrate an 8-time consecutive run at the top of annual brand study that measures equity of 1500+ brands, highlighting that leadership and momentum help brands lead

Year after year, consumers identify superior brands as leaders in their industry, according to recent findings in the 2012 Harris Poll® EquiTrend® (EQ) study .  While some brands score high in equity across one or two components, real staying power comes from being exceptional across the board.  Perennial favorites continually surpass a highly competitive field of top consumer brands.

Brands with Staying Power

This year EquiTrend assessed 1,500+ brands across more than 127 product categories , identifying 15 brands that have flexed their staying power “muscle” year after year and ranked number one in their respective categories every year since 2005 (when the current EquiTrend methodology began).  Within this list are “mega-brands” that in essence came to define their respective categories.  Mega-brands like Coca-Cola®, Craftsman®, Gatorade®, HBO®, and Life Savers® have significant staying power because each brand consistently delivers on its brand experience and remains relevant to today’s consumers.  Other perennial favorites who consistently lead their categories include Southwest Airlines® and Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts.

Fifteen Brands Consistently Ranked #1 Since 2005

Category

Brand

Health Insurance Blue Cross Blue Shield
Soft Drink Coca-Cola
Power Tool Craftsman
Sports Drinks Gatorade
Greeting Card Hallmark Greeting Cards
Pay Cable TV Network HBO
Mid-Market Hotel Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts
Non-Chocolate Candy Life Savers
General-Interest Magazine National Geographic Magazine
Cookie Oreos
Consumer Electronics Sony Consumer Electronics
Value Airline Southwest Airlines
Quick Serve Restaurant Subway Restaurants
Mobile Network Verizon Mobile Network
Payment Card Visa

 

How do they do it?  In examining the 127 top brands, these eight-time highest ranked brands stand out in one area more than any other – brand momentum.  To have strong momentum, a brand must be seen as leader, be popular among friends and family, have high-levels of visibility, be exciting and engaging and be a brand that consumers believe has a bright future.

“These 15 top brands have consistently found a way to remain relevant and valuable to the consumer,” said Aron Galonsky, Senior Vice President for Harris Interactive’s Brand and Communication Consulting group.  “It’s not surprising why these perennial leaders continue stay on top.  They continually deliver a consistent and balanced brand experience, year after year, that really resonates with the consumer.”

While not yet eight-year category leaders, other prominent brands that are poised to lead and strengthen their categories are the Apple® iPad and iPhone, Google®, Android™ Amazon®’s Kindle, and the National Football League® – all of which showed strong signs of brand momentum.  In addition, newcomers like Chobani® Greek Yogurt and the health non-profit organization, Stand Up To Cancer™, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, showed significant promise for the future.

Top Brand Gainers

Although brand equity is generally slow moving, strong brands, once established, will typically maintain their brand momentum.  For example, this year, Apple’s iPhone continued its rise and became one of the top technology brands in EquiTrend.  Other brands with strong year-over-year performance that garnered them a 2012 “Brand of the Year” distinction include Yamaha® Motorcycles, Glaceau vitaminwater®, BB&T Bank® and Physicians Formula Cosmetics®

A handful of financial services brands, such as The Vanguard Group®, TD Ameritrade®, ING Sharebuilder®, and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney®, were able to make progress in rehabilitating their equity.  Finally, Toyota®’s ranking jumped up, a signal of its ongoing recovery from the damage from the “recall” crisis.

At Risk Brands 2012

A few brands have suffered steep declines over the last year such as the scandal-rocked Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and a handful of financial services brands, including Credit Suisse Financial Services®, Bank of New York Mellon®, Amerigroup®, and Fannie Mae®.  Other brands that fell include Groupon® which is seeing competition from this year’s top ranked brand, Woot.com®, and Living Social®.  Additionally, Carnival Cruise Lines®—the  sister company of Costa Concordia, the cruise line with recent mishaps — and the Goodyear® Tire and Service Network—which was top ranked in 2011 — also dropped in the ranking.  Several non-profits, like the National Kidney Foundation®, Sierra Club® and World Vision have also seen declines.

Meanwhile one-time technology mega-brand, BlackBerry®, suffered a huge drop as many corporations implement and incorporate a “bring-your-own-device” strategy, essentially “spec-ing out” BlackBerry by employees who favor other smart phone brands.   BlackBerry’s below average scores for brand momentum, a forward looking brand metric, suggest that unless they find a way to reinvigorate, they can expect further deterioration.

Brands of the Year

Within each respective category, the strongest brand rose to the top and based on their Equity Score, brands were ranked in ascending order.  This year, 127 brands became a “Brand of the Year.”

Highest Ranked Brands in Each Award Category

Category

Award Name

Brand

Airlines Full Service Airline Alaska/ Horizon Airlines
Airlines Value Airline Southwest Airlines
Apparel/Accessories Running Shoe New Balance Running Shoes
Appliances Major Appliances KitchenAid Major Appliances
Appliances Small Kitchen Appliance KitchenAid Small Appliances
Appliances Coffee Maker Keurig Coffee Maker
Automotive Manufacturers Full Line Automotive Honda Vehicles
Automotive Manufacturers Luxury Automotive Mercedes-Benz Vehicles
Automotive Service Centers Auto Service Center Napa AutoCare Center
Automotive Tires Automotive Tire Michelin Automobile Tires
Beer, Wine, Liquor Beer Yuengling Traditional Lager Beer
Beer, Wine, Liquor Light Beer Michelob Ultra Beer
Beer, Wine, Liquor Scotch Whiskey Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Beer, Wine, Liquor Vodka Skyy Vodka
Beverages Bottled Iced Tea Lipton Iced Tea
Beverages Diet Soft Drink Diet Coke
Beverages Soft Drink Coca-Cola
Beverages Coffee Green Mountain Coffee
Beverages Energy Drink SoBe Adrenaline Rush Energy Drink
Beverages Fruit Flavored Drink Juicy Juice
Beverages Fruit Juice Tropicana Juices
Beverages Hot Tea Lipton Teas
Beverages Bottled Water Poland Spring Bottled Water
Beverages Coconut Water Goya Coco Water
Beverages Enhanced Water Glaceau vitaminwater
Beverages Sports Drink Gatorade
Car Rentals Car Rental Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Computer-Related Products Computer Apple Computers
Computer-Related Products Tablet Computer Apple iPad (Tablet)
Computer-Related Products E-Readers Amazon Kindle e-reader
Computer-Related Products Printer HP Printing & Imaging
Consumer Electronics Car Audio Bose  In-Vehicle Audio
Consumer Electronics Consumer Electronics Sony Home Electronics
Consumer Electronics Digital Camera Canon Digital Camera
Consumer Electronics GPS Navigation System Garmin Navigation System
Cruise Line Cruise Line Royal Caribbean International
Entertainment/Recreation Gaming Platform Nintendo Wii
Entertainment/Recreation Movie Studio DreamWorks Movie Studio
Financial Services/Insurance Insurance AAA-American Automobile Insurance
Financial Services/Insurance Investment ING DIRECT
Financial Services/Insurance Payment Card Visa
Financial Services/Insurance National Bank Chase Bank
Financial Services/Insurance Super Regional Bank BB&T Bank
Foods Chocolate Candy Hershey’s Kisses Chocolate Candy
Foods Non-Chocolate Lifesavers Candy
Foods Gum Extra Gum
Foods Premium Chocolate Ghirardelli Chocolate
Foods Cookies Oreo Cookies
Foods Energy Bars Clif Energy Bars
Foods Popcorn Orville Redenbacher Popcorn
Foods Salty Snack Lay’s Chips
Foods Yogurt Chobani Greek Yogurt
Government Armed Forces U.S. Marines
Health and Beauty Products Mass-Market Cosmetics Physicians Formula Cosmetics
Health and Beauty Products Prestige Cosmetics Origins Cosmetics
Health and Beauty Products Sun Screen Neutrogena Suncare
Health and Beauty Products Weight-Loss Plan Weight Watchers
Health Care Hospital Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Health Insurance Health Insurance Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Hotels Economy Hotel America’s Best Value Inn
Hotels Extended Stay Hotel Homewood Suites by Hilton
Hotels Full-Service Hotel Marriott Hotels
Hotels Luxury Hotel W Hotels
Hotels Mid-Market Hotel Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts
Household Products Carpet Shaw Carpet
Household Products Cookware LeCreuset Cookware
Household Products Everyday Dinnerware Corelle Tableware
Household Products Faucet Kohler Faucets
Household Products Gas Grill Weber Gas Grill
Household Products Household Cleaner Lysol All Purpose Cleaner
Household Products Kitchen Cabinetry Thomasville Cabinetry
Household Products Lawn Mower John Deere Lawn Mower
Household Products Innerspring Mattress Serta Mattress
Household Products Memory Foam Mattress Bodipedic Memory Foam Mattress
Household Products Paint KILZ
Household Products Cat Food Hills Science Diet Cat Food
Household Products Dog Food Cesar Canine Cuisine
Household Products Power Tool Craftsman Tools
Household Products Vacuum Cleaner Dyson Vacuum
Household Products Window Covering Levolor Blinds & Shades
Media Magazine Business Magazine Money Magazine
Media Magazine General-Interest Magazine National Geographic Magazine
Media Magazine Weekly News Magazine The Economist Magazine
Media Magazine Women’s Magazine Real Simple Magazine
Media News service News Service Yahoo News
Media Television TV Network CBS Television Network
Media Television Kids TV PBS KIDS Sprout
Media Television Pay Cable TV Network HBO
Media Television Topical TV Programming History Channel
Media Television TV News The Weather Channel
Media Television Variety TV Programming A&E Television Network
Motorcycles Motorcycle Yamaha Motorcycles
Non-Profit Corp. Animal Welfare Non-Profit Best Friends Animal Society
Non-Profit Corp. Environmental Non-Profit Wildlife Conservation Society
Non-Profit Corp. Health Non-Profit Stand Up To Cancer
Non-Profit Corp. International Aid Non-Profit Food for the Poor
Non-Profit Corp. Social Services Non-Profit American Red Cross
Non-Profit Corp. Disability Non-Profit Goodwill
Non-Profit Corp. Youth Interest Non-Profit Girl Scouts of the USA
Online Organizations Online Auto Shopping Kelly Blue Book (KBB.com)
Online Organizations Online Daily Deal Woot.com
Online Organizations Online Job Search USAJobs.com
Online Organizations Online Travel Service Kayak.com
Other Products Greeting Card Hallmark Greeting Cards
Other Products Motor Oil Pennzoil Motor Oil
Over-the-Counter Products OTC Cold / Allergy Vicks Cold Medications
Over-the-Counter Products OTC Digestive Aid Tums
Over-the-Counter Products OTC Fiber supplement Fibercon
Over-the-Counter Products OTC Laxative Phillips Milk of Magnesia
Over-the-Counter Products OTC Pain Relief Advil Pain Reliever
Over-the-Counter Products OTC Sleep Aid Tylenol PM
Resorts/Attractions Amusement Attraction Disney World
Restaurants Casual Dining Restaurant Panera Bread Restaurant
Restaurants Italian Dining Restaurant Maggiano’s Little Italy Restaurant
Restaurants Quick Service Restaurant Subway Restaurants
Restaurants Coffee & Quick Srvc Restaurant Einstein Bagels
Restaurants Pizza Chain Papa John’s Pizza
Retail Convenience Store Speedway Convenience Store
Retail Department Store Kohl’s Department Store
Retail Luxury Department Store Nordstrom’s Department Store
Retail Drug Store Walgreen’s Drugstores
Retail Value Retail Store Target Stores
Retail Gasoline Gasoline Retail Costco Gasoline
Sports Sport League NFL (National Football League)
Telecommunications Mobile Network Verizon Mobile Network
Telecommunications Mobile Phone Apple iPhone
Telecommunications No-Contract Mobile Carrier Verizon Wireless (no contract wireless ph)

Harris Poll ®EquiTrend® methodology

A sample of 38,529 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over were surveyed online by Harris Interactive from January 31 through February 20, 2011 and the survey took an average of 40 minutes to complete.  The sample was from the Harris Interactive online panel of respondents, a multimillion-member database consisting of cooperative respondents who have double-opted in to be randomly invited by Harris Interactive to take part in online surveys.  The total number of brands rated was 1,529.  Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 40 randomly selected brands.  Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings.  Data were weighted to be representative of the entire U.S. population of consumers ages 15 and over based on age by sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, income, and data from respondents ages 18 and over were also weighted for their propensity to be online.  This is the same precision weighting approach Harris has used to become the leading online polling organization when calling elections.

Google Summer Job Openings

It’s only Spring Break for most college students, but summer vacation will be here before you know it. Instead of getting stuck babysitting your little sister or mowing your neighbor’s lawn, apply for Google Summer of Code and spend the summer of 2012 earning money writing code for open source projects.

Google Summer of Code is a global program that gives university students a stipend to write code for open source projects over a three month period. Accepted students are paired with a mentor from the participating projects, gaining exposure to real-world software development and the opportunity for future employment in areas related to their academic pursuits. Best of all, more source code is created and released for the use and benefit of all.

For the past ten days, interested students have had the opportunity to review the ideas pages for this year’s 180 accepted projects and research which projects they would like to contribute to this year. Now is your chance to apply for this great opportunity! Submit your proposal to the mentoring organizations via the Google Summer of Code program website from today through Friday, April 6 at 19:00 UTC.

15-Year-Old Founder of Online E-Reuse Business Named Next Teen Tycoon by VerticalResponse

From the Bay Area to New York, online startups to pop-up shops, there is an entrepreneurial spirit that’s sweeping across the country – and it doesn’t discriminate by age.

Building on this spirit, VerticalResponse announced the three winners of its “Next Teen Tycoon” online video competition. The company – a leading provider of self-service marketing solutions for small businesses including email marketing, social media marketing, online surveys, event marketing and direct mail marketing – launched the national contest in mid-January with the goal of advancing teen entrepreneurship. It drew nearly 40 video entries from teens all over country hoping for a chance to win prizes totaling $10,000.

“At VerticalResponse, we’re all about helping small businesses succeed, no matter how young the owner,” said Janine Popick, CEO of VerticalResponse and one of the contest judges. “At a time when we still don’t know what the economy will be like tomorrow, it is so inspiring to see these enterprising teens take charge of their own future. All of our contestants should be proud.”

Eleven finalists were chosen via public online voting, and a panel of judges selected the grand-prize and two second-place winners from the finalist pool.

Grand Prize: iReTron – New Uses for Old Gadgets

Fifteen-year-old Jason Li, founder of iReTron, nabbed the grand prize and will receive $4,000 in “seed money” to grow the business, as well as a free trip to attend the 2012 TEDxTeen conference in New York. iReTron encourages people to turn in their old cellphones and other electronic devices for cash. The devices are then sold abroad, where there is still a demand. View the teen entrepreneur video by iReTron here.

“I started iReTron with the hopes of creating a way for everyone to help the environment,” said Jason, a sophomore at Saratoga High School in Los Gatos, Calif., near San Francisco. “We made our public debut at the Green Festival in San Francisco last year, where I spoke in front of 500 people. We’ve completed more than 500 transactions so far. We’re working with high schools, colleges and other companies to let people know it’s easy to be green.”

Second Place: a1000x – Showcasing Artists for a Cause

As a second-place winner, 16-year-old Jack Uesugi of Wahiawa, Hawaii, will receive $2,000 to help grow his business, a1000x (a Thousand Times). a1000x partners with local artists and helps market their designs while participating in social entrepreneurship. The company prints, sells and promotes limited-edition clothing and other merchandise featuring these designs, and a portion of all profits goes toward social causes. View the teen entrepreneur video by a1000x here.

“We’re called a Thousand Times because whatever you do in life, you want to do it big. You want to do it a thousand times better and put a thousand times more effort into it,” said Jack, a junior at Island Pacific Academy. “You’ll find that in the end, you’ll get the same in return.”

Second Place: StudioVictus – One-Stop Shop for Multimedia

Four high school seniors from Destrehan, La., near New Orleans, also will receive $2,000 to help further their multimedia company, StudioVictus. Co-founders Austin Bergeron, Matt Duhe, Joe Solito and Joshua Stoker officially launched the business in November and offer a variety of services such as photography, Web design, videography, graphic design and app design. The company recently designed the official New Orleans Hornets mobile app, and works with a growing number of local businesses. View the teen entrepreneur video by StudioVictus here.

“With the seed money, we plan to make huge investments in our company,” said Joshua, who attends Destrehan High School along with his three co-founders. “Company work shirts for professionalism on the jobsite, business cards and other advertisements to promote our company, a studio lighting kit for our photography work, and some money for Web hosting.”

Finalist Prizes and Judges

All 11 finalists will receive two best-selling books, “Your Starting Point for Student Success” by America’s top young speaker, Arel Moodie, and “Entrepreneurship” by Steve Mariotti, founder of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

Both Moodie and Mariotti also served as contest judges, alongside Daniel Brusilovsky (CEO/founder of Teens in Tech Labs); John Jantsch (small business consultant and founder of Duct Tape Marketing); Janine Popick (CEO of VerticalResponse); Ramon Ray (small business expert and editor of SmallBizTechnology.com); and Nicole Marie Richardson (executive editor at Inc.com).

“For 30 years, I’ve been working with schools and teaching young people how to run a business, and I think we are truly at an incredible time when it comes to youth entrepreneurship,” said NFTE founder Mariotti, whose organization holds several competitions per year including the World Series of Innovation and Elevator Pitch Challenge. “The students in the VerticalResponse contest have the motivation and courage to act on an idea and make it happen, and that’s a large part of what being an entrepreneur is all about.”

To view all 11 contest finalists, visit http://www.verticalresponse.com/TeenTycoon.

February 2012 U.S. Search Engine Rankings

comScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its monthly comScore qSearch analysis of the U.S. search marketplace. Google Sites led the explicit core search market in February with 66.4 percent of search queries conducted.

U.S. Explicit Core Search

Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in February with 66.4 percent market share (up 0.2 percentage points), followed by Microsoft Sites with 15.3 percent (up 0.1 percentage points) and Yahoo! Sites with 13.8 percent. Ask Network accounted for 3.0 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.5 percent.

comScore Explicit Core Search Share Report*
February 2012 vs. January 2012
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore qSearch
Core Search Entity Explicit Core Search Share (%)
Jan-12 Feb-12 Point Change
Total Explicit Core Search 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Google Sites 66.2% 66.4% 0.2
Microsoft Sites 15.2% 15.3% 0.1
Yahoo! Sites 14.1% 13.8% -0.3
Ask Network 3.0% 3.0% 0.0
AOL, Inc. 1.6% 1.5% -0.1

*“Explicit Core Search” excludes contextually driven searches that do not
reflect specific user intent to interact with the search results.

17.6 billion explicit core searches were conducted in February, with Google Sites ranking first with 11.7 billion. Microsoft Sites ranked second with 2.7 billion searches, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 2.4 billion, Ask Network with 535 million (up 2 percent) and AOL, Inc. with 266 million.

comScore Explicit Core Search Query Report
February 2012 vs. January 2012
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore qSearch
Core Search Entity Explicit Core Search Queries (MM)
Jan-12 Feb-12 Percent Change
Total Explicit Core Search 17,804 17,588 -1%
Google Sites 11,786 11,673 -1%
Microsoft Sites 2,707 2,684 -1%
Yahoo! Sites 2,506 2,430 -3%
Ask Network 527 535 2%
AOL, Inc. 277 266 -4%

“Powered By” Reporting

In February, 68.6 percent of searches carried organic search results from Google (versus 68.4 percent in January) while 26.2 percent of searches were powered by Bing (versus 26.5 percent in January).

About comScore
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.

Alabama Tourism Launches 100 Alabama Road Trips

Alabama Tourism today launched a three year campaign, “100 Alabama Road Trips” with the release of the first 10 trips. The campaign focuses on driving itineraries that travelers can experience over two or three days. The initial itineraries are now live on the tourism website and each is numbered, www.Alabama.travel. Other trips will continue to be added throughout the first year of the campaign.

The first 10 trips include the BCS Championship tour, Eagle watching on Lake Guntersville, a romantic getaway to Mobile, Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights history, spring break at the beach, a walking tour of downtown Birmingham, Huntsville’s Space & Rocket Center, Montgomery’s history tour, bird watching on the coast and the To Kill A Mockingbird tour in Monroeville. A few upcoming trips will include a Girlfriends Getaway on the Eastern Shore, family fun in Sylacauga, golfing in Alabama, music in the Shoals and Gulf Coast adventures.

Road Trip Alabama

 

“Road Trips” is also the theme for the 2012 Vacation Guide. Pages six and seven of the guide provides a sneak peek at the campaign. The cover of the publication is of a 1953 baby blue Cadillac, much like the one Hank Williams owned, parked on a pier at Lake Guntersville. The car will be used as a symbol and logo for the road trips campaign. The Cadillac is in tourism’s television commercials that are currently airing on television  stations across the U.S. The car will also be used around the state at events and festivals throughout the three year campaign.

“We wanted to make it easier for travelers to plan their trip so we came up with 100 itineraries. There’s something for everyone,” said tourism director Lee Sentell. “If you’re planning a trip to the beach, we have an itinerary for that, or a trip to experience the small towns of Alabama, we’ve got that too.”

The 164-page vacation guide provides travelers with information on hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, tourism associations, state parks, golf courses, attractions, trails and museums.

Each region of the state is highlighted and provides articles on the attractions, places to stay and events in the areas. Articles include “100 Great Alabama Road Trips” on pages 6-7, shopping for treasures in Alabama on page 13, Civil Rights history on pages 14-15, Alabama’s chefs, farms and restaurants on pages 16-25, and golf begins on page 26. Articles on each of the four regions of the state along with things to do begin with the north region on page 37. Each regional article includes a map of the area with the road trip blue Cadillac icon.

Travelers can pick up copies of the vacation guide at each of the eight Alabama Welcome Centers, by calling 1.800.ALABAMA or by requesting online at www.alabama.travel. Compass Marketing of Gulf Shores publishes the vacation guide.

January 2012 U.S. Online Video Rankings

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released data from the comScore Video Metrixservice showing that 181 million U.S. Internet users watched nearly 40 billion videos of online video content in January.

Top 10 Video Content Properties by Unique Viewers

Google Sites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube.com, ranked as the top online video content property in January with 152 million unique viewers, followed by VEVO with 51.5 million, Yahoo! Sites with 49.2 million, Viacom Digital with 48.1 million and Facebook.com with 45.1 million. Nearly 40 billion videos views occurred during the month, with Google Sites generating the highest number at 18.6 billion, followed by Hulu with 877 million and VEVO with 717 million. The average viewer watched 22.6 hours of online video content, with Google Sites (7.5 hours) and Hulu (3.2 hours) demonstrating the highest average engagement among the top ten properties.

Top U.S. Online Video Content Properties Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
January 2012
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Content Videos Only (Ad Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Total Unique Viewers (000) Videos (000)* Minutes per Viewer
Total Internet : Total Audience 181,115 39,995,849 1,354.7
Google Sites 151,989 18,633,743 448.7
VEVO 51,499 716,608 62.2
Yahoo! Sites 49,215 538,260 57.4
Viacom Digital 48,104 507,046 58.0
Facebook.com 45,135 248,941 22.0
Microsoft Sites 41,491 558,017 51.3
AOL, Inc. 40,991 419,783 51.4
Hulu 31,383 877,388 189.0
Amazon Sites 27,906 86,705 19.7
NBC Universal 27,096 95,034 17.2

*A video is defined as any streamed segment of audiovisual content, including both progressive downloads and live streams. For long-form, segmented content, (e.g. television episodes with ad pods in the middle) each segment of the content is counted as a distinct video stream.

Top 10 Video Ad Properties by Video Ads Viewed

Americans viewed 5.6 billion video ads in January, with Hulu delivering the highest number of video ad impressions at 1.4 billion. Adap.tv ranked second overall (and highest among video ad exchanges/networks) with 652 million ad views, followed by BrightRoll Video Network with 598 million, Tremor Video with 580 million and Specific Media with 398 million. Time spent watching video ads totaled more than 2.3 billion minutes during the month, with Hulu delivering the highest duration of video ads at 540 million minutes. Video ads reached 47 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 38 times during the month. Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 43, while ESPN delivered an average of 20 ads per viewer.

Top U.S. Online Video Ad Properties Ranked by Video Ads* Viewed
January 2012
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Ad Videos Only (Content Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Video Ads (000) Total Ad Minutes (MM) Frequency (Ads per Viewer) % Reach Total U.S. Population
Total Internet : Total Audience 5,558,261 2,329 38.4 47.3
Hulu 1,446,618 540 43.1 11.0
Adap.tv 651,531 395 10.8 19.8
BrightRoll Video Network** 598,353 370 6.1 32.3
Tremor Video** 580,302 314 12.6 15.0
Specific Media** 397,941 187 5.6 23.2
Auditude, Inc.** 386,702 151 9.7 13.1
Microsoft Sites 385,581 149 11.2 11.2
SpotXchange Video Ad Marketplace** 356,755 207 10.3 11.3
ESPN 343,801 131 20.0 5.6
Viacom Digital 286,024 123 12.8 7.3

*Video ads include streaming-video advertising only and do not include other types of video monetization, such as overlays, branded players, matching banner ads, homepage ads, etc.
**Indicates video ad network
†Indicates video ad exchange

Top 10 YouTube Partner Channels by Unique Viewers

The January 2012 YouTube partner data revealed that video music channels VEVO (50.6 million viewers) and Warner Music (29.7 million viewers) maintained the top two positions. Gaming channel Machinima ranked third with 23.8 million viewers, followed by Maker Studios Inc. with 12.5 million, FullScreen with 11.6 million and Big Frame with 8.2 million. Among the top 10 YouTube partners, VEVO demonstrated the highest engagement (62 minutes per viewer) and highest number of videos viewed (696 million), while Machinima exhibited the second highest engagement (60 minutes per viewer) and number of videos viewed (347 million).

Top YouTube Partner Channels* Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
January 2012
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Content Videos Only (Ad Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Total Unique Viewers (000) Videos (000) Minutes per Viewer
VEVO @ YouTube 50,563 695,947 61.8
Warner Music @ Youtube 29,718 187,672 27.5
Machinima @ YouTube 23,799 347,380 60.4
Maker Studios Inc. @ YouTube 12,505 135,301 47.4
FullScreen @ YouTube 11,579 50,292 17.6
Big Frame @ YouTube 8,167 42,106 18.8
BroadbandTV @ YouTube 8,016 29,695 15.8
Bigpoint @ YouTube 7,864 43,146 21.1
Blizzard @ YouTube 7,572 13,021 4.1
Demand Media @ YouTube 7,296 19,804 9.4

*YouTube Partner Reporting based on online video content viewing and does not include claimed user-generated content

Other notable findings from January 2012 include:

  • 84.4 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
  • The duration of the average online content video was 6.1 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.
  • Video ads accounted for 12.2 percent of all videos viewed and 0.9 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.

About comScore
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.

UPlanMe Launches Smart Calendar Website Making Event Discovery Simple

UPlanMe, Inc. announces launch of UPlanMe , a “smart-calendar” site that provides consumers of all ages with personalized event suggestions, specials and incentives, based on their interests, directly to their UPlanMe calendar. The site, launching in conjunction with New York Social Media Week, was created as a one-stop solution for consumers to stay informed about events in sports, music, nightlife, dining, shopping, television, and more.

Sean Barkulis, Co-Founder and CEO of UPlanMe, said, “We are excited to launch this smart-calendar platform to help consumers discover fun and exciting relevant events. Currently, there is no single, all-inclusive place where people can go to be informed of upcoming events, specials and incentives tailored specifically to their interests. Existing methods require consumers to seek-out and find relevant events whereas UPlanMe brings those personalized events directly to users’ UPlanMe calendar.”

UPlanMe also provides national brands and local businesses with a free and simple way to communicate their specials and events directly to their consumers. Co-Founder and President Brian Kantor said, “We have already seen significant traction from a host of national brands and local businesses across a range of categories looking to provide their customers with access to their schedules, specials, exclusive previews, and ticket pre-sales.” Brands such as SummerStage, Thompson Hotels’ “Gild Hall,” Los Angeles’ Arcade Boutique and Chicago’s Vintage 338 are actively managing their brand calendars with upcoming events.

UPlanMe partners with Medea Vodka, Radeberger, and SummerStage for their official New York City launch party, on February 15th at Pranna, during New York Social Media Week.

About UPlanMe, Inc.
UPlanMe is a “smart-calendar” platform that provides users with personalized event suggestions, specials and incentives based on their interests in sports, music, dining, nightlife, shopping, entertainment and more, direct to their UPlanMe calendar. As users “unlock” or opt-into their favorite brands, their UPlanMe calendar populates with each brands’ scheduled events. There is no cost for users or brands and businesses to sign-up and begin filling their UPlanMe calendars with events.