Amazon’s Alexa “Brand Voice” New Feature, Toyota’s “GO HIGHLANDER” Campaign & More Sales Leads
- Amazon’s Alexa
Amazon’s Alexa has a new feature called “Brand Voice” that can be used to create a unique voice that represents a brand’s persona, Mediapost reports. Amazon’s Alexa customized voice feature can be created with the Amazon Polly team of artificial intelligence research scientists and linguistics. Amazon Polly is a cloud service of Amazon Web Services that converts text to lifelike speech.The team has been working with Kentucky Fried Chicken Canada and National Australia Bank to create unique Brand Voices.Amazon’s new initiative aims to make it easier for customers to interact with multiple voice assistants on a single device.
The marketing campaign for the all-new 2020 Toyota Highlander has officially kicked off. The “GO HIGHLANDER” campaign for the fourth-generation benchmark SUV will feature Highlander and Highlander Hybrid models that speak to the vehicle’s performance, dramatic new design and sophisticated detailing, making it the ultimate vehicle for those who are at the center of making memories.“Heroes”, an action-packed :60-second spot featuring actress Cobie Smulders and the all-new Highlander, ran in this year’s Big Game and officially kicked off the campaign. The spot was created by Saatchi & Saatchi.The fully-integrated Highlander campaign was developed using the Total Toyota (T2) model which provides multicultural insights aimed at a transcultural mainstream audience. T2 features a blended and cohesive marketing approach inclusive of multicultural marketing, bringing together its agencies into a total market model. The T2 agency team includes Saatchi & Saatchi, Burrell Communications, Conill Advertising and Intertrend, with Zenith placing TV and outdoor media buys.
Tricolor announced a US$30 million equity investment from a global institutional investor to rapidly scale its technology-powered approach to the sale and financing of used vehicles.In 2018, financially underserved customers in America spent US$48 billion in fees and interest on subprime and Buy Here Pay Here (BHPH) auto loans, according to a recent report from the Financial Health Network. Tricolor is actively transforming the car buying experience and helping to eliminate unnecessary fees through a business model that aligns customer impact with business outcomes and leverages advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.To date, Tricolor has disbursed nearly US$1 billion in affordable business loans throughout California and Texas. With this infusion of funds, the company will rapidly scale its platform and retail network to expand availability for its guaranteed, high quality used vehicles and access to responsible auto financing options for Hispanic customers in new markets.For more than a decade, Tricolor has successfully scored no file and thin file Hispanic customers, as evidenced by five well-received ABS securitizations.The company will continue to expand this program alongside its growing dealer and financing network.Houlihan Lokey served as advisers to Tricolor on the transaction. Headquartered in Dallas, Tricolor and its affiliate Ganas Auto Group operate 36 retail dealerships across 12 markets in Texas and California, as well as a shared services center in Guadalajara, Mexico.
- Bank of America
Bank of America has consolidating all external marketing services with Publicis Groupe. The agency’s dedicated unit called GroupeConnect will handle the business. Publicis Groupe’s Starcom has handled media buying and planning for Bank of America since winning the account in 2008.Bank of America spent over US$187 million in the first nine months of last year on marketing in the U.S., up from a little over US$183 million total in 2018, according to Kantar Media.
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Toy company Hasbro has consolidated its global media account with GroupM’s MediaCom. The WPP-owned agency has snatched the business from incumbent OMD. MediaCom will handle all the brands under Hasbro in all the markets it has a presence in. Prior to the consolidation, Omnicom Media Group’s OMD held the Hasbro account for 15 international markets including APAC and Europe, while MediaCom was overseeing Latin America.Brands under Hasbro include MARVEL, Power Rangers, Transformers, PlayDoh, My Little Pony, Star Wars, Sesame Street, Trolls and more. Hasbro overtook Mattel to become the world’s biggest toy company in 2017 following significant marketing spends. In 2018, the company posted global sales of US$US4.6 billion, according to reports.
- OneWest Bank
OneWest Bank, CIT’s Southern California branch network, announced the launch of a new small business mobile app, a new platform to help small business customers seamlessly reach their financial goals.The OneWest Bank business app empowers small businesses to pay bills, digitally deposit checks, transfer funds between OneWest accounts, schedule appointments and locate the nearest branch. In addition, customers using the app can apply for funding to support their equipment financing and working capital needs directly from their mobile devices.OneWest offers a competitive range of products and account features designed to empower local small businesses. These include OneBusiness Interest Checking and Money Market Savings accounts. OneWest is also enabling customers to apply for equipment financing through its parent company CIT and its national Small Business Solutions division.In addition to its products and services, OneWest empowers local entrepreneurs through Launch + Grow, an ongoing partnership with the nonprofit Operation HOPE that includes a series of in-person workshops and classes for female small business owners.