Astronomer James R.A. Davenport posted this fantastic map on his blog If We Assume.
It shows every company-owned Starbucks in the U.S., which means all the franchised Starbucks locations are not shown.
Davenport writes that the farthest you can ever get from a corporate Starbucks in the mainland U.S. is 170 miles. That’s a bit more than the 115-mile number posted by McDonald’s, points out Paula Forbes at Eater.
Another great stat from Davenport is the number of people that live quite close to a Starbucks.
There are ~311 million people living in the USA, with 82% living in urbanized areas. One might define urbanization in the modern era as the distance to the nearest Starbucks. An “urban” environment would therefore be anyplace within a 20 mile radius. Yes, more than 80% of the USA (that’s 250,000,000 people) live within 20 miles of a Starbucks.
It’s been a one-two punch for the iconic PC companies: Dell shares crashed after it forecast second-quarter estimates that fell short of Wall Street estimates, and even though HP reported stronger reveues and profits than anticipated, it is announcing layoffs of 27,000 people.
What’s even more striking is that both of these companies have started defining themselves as something other than a PC company. Dell has said that it will emphasize its enterprise services business and HP is getting into the enterprise software business with its Autonomy acquisition.
This is probably mostly why HP’s stock rose on the layoffs announcement, more than its quarterly results: it is signaling that it is moving away from the PC.
It’s not just that the PC era is over. It’s that no one thinks the PC era is not over.
The answer, of course, is in the chart above, which is our estimate of global internet device sales.
Steve Jobs was mocked at first for saying that the smartphone and the tablet heralded a “post-PC era”. But it is happening, and it is happening faster than any of us thought.
This has a broad range of consequences:
- Apple’s opportunity is just massive. It has a positive developer network effect in smartphones. It is the only company that can make tablets people want (with Amazon, see below).
- Microsoft is in a tough spot. We’re not saying it’s toast, yet, because we believe there may be room for a strong number 3 in mobile, and Windows 8 is embracing the right strategy of focusing on tablets and providing a great touch experience, but it will still require heroic effort just to stay relevant.
- Amazon’s Kindle ecosystem is going to pay off hugely. Right now, Amazon is the only winner in the tablet game alongside Apple. If Amazon grabs a significant slice of the future of computing and uses it to sell commerce, media, services and adds, that is an enormous business. (See our Kindle economics primer here.)
- Google’s widely ridiculed Motorola buy might actually turn out to be a smart bet. Tablets are such a hugely important opportunity, and Android is so far behind, that it just might be worth it to strap a dead elephant to its back, alienate its partners, and so on, just to be able to play there.
Funny or Die is going commercial by, well, creating commercials.
The Adam McKay and Will Ferrell brainchild, which had a humble start in 2007 (featuring videos of drunken landlord babies) and then exploded into a celebrity-laden viral video machine, is launching a division called Gifted Youth that is entirely dedicated to making real advertisements.
While some products have been integrated into videos—like Emma Stone’s “ad” for iPhone murder apps—it wasn’t done to sell anything. So far, brands have served as excuses to make funny videos. Now they’re going to be the main event.
Chris Bruss, the vp/branded entertainment at Funny or Die who will helm Gifted Youth, told the New York Times that the division will give agencies and marketers the coveted opportunity to work with writers, directors, and maybe even actors who have worked with Funny or Die.
Advertising agencies are constantly trying to create the next big viral video. While once in a blue moon a client will sign off on Old Spice guy, let’s face it, moons are rarely blue and agencies are far more likely to make Mary J. Blige sing about fried chicken in a Burger King ad that is destined to get pulled.
Funny or Die, on the other hand, epically wins at viral content. For example, Will Ferrell’s local Super Bowl ads for Milwaukee beer—spawned from a deal that Pabst made with Funny or Die in 2010—got more Twitter mentions than $3.5 million national Super Bowl spots for Cadillac, Century 21, CareerBuilder, Lexus, and Hulu.
But everyone shouldn’t start dancing in the street just yet. While Funny or Die is good at creating funny content, it’s a whole other ball game when you have a client that’s going to have to approve content every step of the way. Who’s really going to be able to tell Will Ferrell, for example, what he can and can’t say? We’re also anticipating that agencies, who just love working/competing with new creatives on the block, will be butting heads with Gifted Youth.
The new ad shop had a soft launch during TNT’s slam dunk contest during the NBA All-Star weekend by airing a Kia commercial starring Blake Griffin and actor Jeff Goldblum. Gifted Youth also just released spots for New Era baseball caps in which comedians Nick Offerman and Craig Robinson fight over their respective love for the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Socks. (This is a continuation of last year’s ads in which John Krasinski and Alec Baldwin feud about the Red Socks and the Yankees).
Apparently human beings are still Tree Enemy Number One, sneaking past beavers and termites. In fact, if you are reading this in America, you personally killed 5.57 40-foot trees last year thanks to all of your paper usage. But don’t feel too bad: Belgians consumed a whopping 8.5 trees per person, which is like taking four Rockefeller Center Christmas trees and setting them on fire.
According to The Economist, worldwide paper consumption has increased by half in the last 30 years, a puzzling development for an era when “paperless” and “green” are as buzzy as words can get. You’d think that with the rise of computers, iPads and smartphones that paper consumption would shrink, but apparently humans are still ripping down spruces and pines at an alarming rate. So save a tree—buy a Kindle. [The Economist]
Not only is the increase in credit, without a subsequent increase in consumption, a sign of strain on the American consumer; but they shifted from buying new goods to used goods in recent months in a big way. An era of "frugality" has impacted the average American home and with high unemployment, underemployment and wage pressures weighing on the family budgets – cost increases hit home much faster than in past years.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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