TIME Food & Drink

Cadbury Just Won the Chocolate War

This is chocolate shock and awe

Can’t decide on your favorite Cadbury chocolate bar? No matter. With the Cadbury Dairy Milk Spectacular 7 you get seven bars in one.

There’s just one thing, though. The company made only 50 of these behemoths, which means chocolate lovers will have to pay attention to the company’s Twitter feed to win a bar by retweeting posts about the promotion.

The bar contains fillings of caramel, Daim (crunchy almond butter bar), Oreo, Turkish Delight (a soft, rose-flavored jelly), Fruit & Nut, whole nuts and simply original milk chocolate.

As Willy Wonka once said, “Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple!”

MONEY Advertising

Under Armour Wants You to Wear ‘Avengers’ Underwear

UnderArmour Under Armour's Alter Ego line, the quickest way to get six-pack abs

The sports apparel company that some think will be the new Nike is on quite an amazing run—partnering with Masters champ Jordan Speith, Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady, and now, the Avengers.

At long last, it appears to be acceptable for grown men to wear Underoos. That’s essentially what Under Armour’s new Alter Ego line of Avengers-theme shirts and leggings is, isn’t it?

The product line includes polyester T-shirts, as well as skin-tight “compression” shirts and leggings that make the wearer resemble superheroes such as Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, and others from the new film Avengers: Age of Ultron. The first Alter Ego products from Under Armour were released in 2013 featuring Super Man and Batman gear, and a new roster of items has been timed to coincide with the latest Avengers movie hitting theaters on May 1. The options include a $59.99 shirt that makes you look like the Hulk, complete with faux six-pack abs, and unlike the original Underoos for kids, Alter Ego gear is made in adult sizes and is intended for the world to see rather than serving as mere undergarments.

Avengers’ costume designers actually worked with Under Armour for the new film, and in what seems to be some brilliant product placement the company’s “tactical gear” is worn by superheroes in the movie. If a shirt is good enough for Captain America, Thor, and Tony Stark, after all, it must be more than adequate for your workout at the gym, right? Here’s a little about how Under Armour was incorporated into Age of Ultron:

The partnership with the surefire blockbuster hit movie is the latest in an incredibly hot streak for Under Armour. When 21-year-old golfing phenom (and UA client) Jordan Speith recently won the Masters, it was estimated that the exposure was tantamount to $33.6 million in advertising. Meanwhile, another high-profile Under Armour athlete, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, is on everyone’s short list for regular season MVP in the NBA, and yet another (New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady) started the year by grabbing the Super Bowl MVP while leading his team to the championship.

Oh, and about the same the Patriots were winning the Super Bowl, Under Armour was releasing a product line featuring one of the greatest and most famous athletes of the 20th century: Muhammad Ali.

To recap, Under Armour has got some of the best and most popular players in sports on their side, as well as “The Greatest” period. And now, with the Age of Ultron partnership, the company has teamed up with the Hulk, Thor, and Captain America. No wonder Under Armour seems capable of convincing grown men that they want to dress up like superheroes, and pay $60 for T-shirts while they’re at it.

To be fair, Under Armour isn’t the only apparel company playing the superhero card to an adult audience. Sets of actual adult-sized Underoos (briefs and T-shirts) in varieties like Batman, He-Man, and Captain America went on sale last fall and promptly sold out in a few hours.

Call us crazy, but we’re partial to the original, just-for-kids Underoos like the ones advertised in this classic commercial:

MORE: 12 Things Made for Kids That Are Now Marketed to Adults

TIME Australia

Aussie Supermarket Chain Tries to Brand War Memories, Upsets Everyone

Maybe leave death and suffering out of future marketing plans

Australian supermarket giant Woolworths pulled a controversial Anzac Day campaign Tuesday evening after it drew sharp criticism and ended up being hijacked by social-media satirists.

Woolworths created a website that allowed people to upload images of people affected by war and attach the phrase “Lest We Forget, Anzac 1915–2015.” This was accompanied by the slogan “Fresh in Our Memories” and the Woolworths logo.

The use of the word fresh was none-too-subtle branding. Woolworths brands itself the Fresh Food People, and its regular consumer magazine is called Fresh.

For Australians, the ham-fisted marketing was too much, and Woolworths became the target of public backlash, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“We regret that our branding on the picture generator has caused offense, this was clearly never our intention. Like many heritage Australian companies, we were marking our respect for Anzac and our veterans,” a Woolworths spokesperson tells TIME.

The slogan was predictably hijacked by social media with the hashtag #FreshInOurMemories going viral and netizens contributing mocking posts.

Anzac Day is celebrated on April 25 in Australia and New Zealand and honors soldiers who died serving in the military. The remembrance day was created to recognize the sacrifices made during the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I, which began on April 25, 1915. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the infamous battle.

TIME Technology & Media

11 Twitter Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

The Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile device.
Bethany Clarke—Getty Images The Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile device.


Question: What is one mistake small businesses and startups make on Twitter constantly that I should avoid?

Starting a Tweet With an ‘@’ Sign

“Twitter is best when it’s a conversation. Too often, startups will engage in that conversation by writing directly to another person or brand. Starting a tweet with a peoples’ names (i.e., “@magoosh, thank you!”) means only folks who are your fans and their fans will see the interaction. By putting a period before the “@,” your full audience will see the conversation.” — Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

Using a Different Hashtag Every Time

“It’s important to develop a consistent, branded hashtag so your following knows the best way to play along. By using a different hashtag every time, your brand is potentially missing out on an opportunity to have its message spread more effectively across Twitter.”

Sounding Off

“Too many businesses treat Twitter like a bull horn. Twitter is most effective as a listening tool and for providing followers with relevant communication. Leave status updates to sharing links and images or asking engaging questions.” — Adam Root, SocialCentiv

Tweeting Infrequently

“Next time you’re on Twitter, count how many tweets come through your feed within 10 minutes. Due to the volume on Twitter, your posts are unlikely to be seen if you’re only tweeting every so often. Instead, come up with three to five ways to talk about the same thing, schedule your tweets to go live multiple times a day and keep your stream topped up. That way, you’ll have a presence.”

Not Building Relationships With Brand Advocates

“Identify customers who are regularly interacting with you on Twitter, and go beyond retweeting their mentions. Specifically thank them, and start conversations about the industry or their work. By remembering key details about them and referencing them later (what products they own or certain projects they’re proud of), you’ll inspire brand loyalty.” — Tracy Foster, ONA

Treating Twitter and Other Social Networks the Same

“Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media are not all created equal, and you should not be treating them as such. Quit tweeting the same thing you posted on Instagram and Facebook. Sure, there are outliers, and it makes sense, but you should be telling me a different part of your brand’s story on each platform.” — Blake Miller, Think Big Partners

Forgetting the ‘Social’ in Social Media

“Many companies forget the “social” part of social media and blast news about themselves and their products. Think about it in real world terms: You can’t walk into a party and start yelling about how cool your own party is. Take the time to get to know the people, join their conversations organically and figure out what about your business would interest them. Engagement goes both ways.” — Lauren Perkins, Perks Consulting

Constantly Retweeting

“Avoid constantly retweeting someone’s content. Yes, you might get followers, but no one will read your tweets because they are not original.” — Yuriy Boykiv, Gravity Media

Talking About Your Business All the Time

“With the possible exception of your family members, no one is following your business on Twitter because they want to be constantly advertised to. No more than 20 percent of your tweets should be promotional in nature. The other 80 percent should add value to your followers in some way.” — Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

Posting Controversial Tweets Just to Gain Attention

“Being controversial for the sake of gaining attention is not a good way to gain positive attention. Keep your tweets relevant, on point and conservative.” — Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

Treating Twitter Like It’s a Promotional Channel

“Twitter is somewhere people go to interact with their friends and to be social. If you treat Twitter as a place to dump blog posts and press releases and never interact with your followers, you’ll never be successful on Twitter. Think about what kind of content your customers want to see, and provide it — even if not all of it’s immediately beneficial to you.” — Emerson Spartz, Spartz

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launchedStartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

This article was originally published on StartupCollective.

MONEY Sports

This Multi-Billion-Dollar Business Is Trying to Get Your Kid Hooked

Mitch Diamond—Alamy

In the quest for higher and higher profits down the line, the indoctrination must start young with this business—which is probably not at all what you think.

It’s … baseball.

For American kids today, the idea that baseball is the national pastime holds true only in the past. The number of kids who play baseball fell 24% during the ’00s, and it has continued to decrease since.

Unsurprisingly, the percentage of kids who are fans of the sport has been on the decline as well. In an ESPN Sports Poll conducted last year, 18% of 12- to 17-year-old Americans described themselves as avid baseball fans. That’s the lowest it’s been since the survey started being conducted in 1995. It’s also the first time ever that baseball’s level of fanaticism among kids was matched by that of (gasp!) Major League Soccer. Four in ten, meanwhile, say they are diehard NFL fans.

Still, baseball executives say other sports have little to do with kids losing interest in baseball. “Today, the fastest growing activity among young people is nothing,” Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred recently said, rather bizarrely, in a Sports Illustrated for Kids interview. He quickly clarified that “being involved with electronics and non-sporting activities” is largely why baseball has become less popular with kids.

In any event, baseball has fallen so far off most American kids’ radar that the problem is being openly discussed around the league. Newly adopted rules meant to speed up the game are aimed at removing the lulls and making the game more exciting for all fans—but especially for young people, what with their nonexistent attention spans. Teams across the country are also pumping up promotions and freebies to new heights to woo the next generation of spectators.

“I think we all recognize that we can’t live by the long-held premise that a child will automatically fall in love with baseball,” Boston Red Sox senior adviser Charles Steinberg said to the Boston Globe in early March. “We have to recognize that we are one of many options.”

With that in mind, the website of every Major League Baseball team has a section devoted specifically to kids—where else would you learn fun factoids about the team mascot?—and teams also encourage children to sign up for their special kids club programs. Membership is often free, and comes with perks like team swag, baseball cards, and access to discounted or free ticket promotions.

The Red Sox program, dubbed Kids Nation, used to cost $30, but this season ownership decided to make membership free for fans 14 and under. Each member gets a free ticket to Fenway Park (with an adult ticket purchase, of course), plus a 10% discount on team merchandise and “Exclusive Kid Nation Email Newsletters.”

Other MLB teams with free basic membership for kids programs include the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Miami Marlins. The latter comes with buy-one, get-one-free tickets at select games—kids club members eat free at the ballpark at some games too.

Most teams try to upsell families on VIP kids club membership, which runs $20 and up and includes more perks and freebies. Other MLB franchises charge for all kids club memberships, though they don’t seem to be making money on the sales considering what’s in the package. For example, the Los Angeles Angels Junior Angels program costs $18 but comes with a voucher good for four tickets, plus a team shirt, socks, and shoelaces and a $5 gift card at the Angels Team Store. Meanwhile, the Seattle Mariners’ $15 kids club membership includes a team cap, cooler, activity book, and access to $1 tickets at select games.

Obviously, the short-term goal of these programs is to boost attendance and revenues for this season. Even though the programs may break even or lose money on the surface, they succeed in attracting more people out to the ballpark—and bringing them out more often—where they’ll undoubtedly fork over cash for parking, food, beverages, and souvenirs.

But wooing kids is hardly a short-term play. What baseball truly hopes is that kids programs and other child-centric marketing efforts help create lifelong fans who head out to the stadium, buy team merchandise, and watch on TV for decades to come. The idea is to hook them while they’re young with cheap tickets, free swag, face painting at games, and whatever else it takes. After all, few people wake up when they’re grownups and decide that they will suddenly become diehard fans of the Cincinnati Twins or San Diego Padres or whoever.

Data collected by the Red Sox indicates that people who went to games as children are nearly three times more likely than others to turn into “core” fans or at least go the ballpark a few times per season down the road. In his SI for Kids interview, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred agreed that it is absolutely essential to turn children on to baseball while they’re young: “Our research shows the two biggest determinants of fan avidity are did you play as a kid? And how old were you when your parents took you to the ballpark for the first time?”

MONEY Food & Drink

8 Signs We May Have Reached Peak Peeps

Mark Stehle—Invision for PEEPS® Yes, there's even a Peeps Zamboni.

Peeps, the classic marshmallow Easter candy, are riding on quite the sugar high in terms of popularity. It has to wear off at some point. Doesn't it?

There are some people out there who hate Peeps, the brightly-colored, sickly-sweet marshmallow candies that came to fame mainly for providing supercharged sugar rushes to children on Easter morning. An I Hate Marshmallow Peeps Facebook page has more than 500 likes, for instance, while the occasional blogger will feel compelled to rant about his or her Peeps hate around this time of year.

But the Peeps haters sure seem to be drastically outnumbered by the Peeps lovers, based on all the examples of peeps demonstrating their interest and devotion to Peeps candy below. The only question that remains is when Peeps’ popularity will level off. Have we already hit peak Peeps? Or will this tiny iconic candy somehow become an even larger presence in American culture one day? After all, every fun meme, like every sugar rush, dies off eventually.

For now, let’s reflect on a few of the signs that consumer interest in Peeps remains sky-high today:

Peeps come in more than 60 varieties. At least 35 kinds of Peeps are sold during Easter season, including sour watermelon and fudge-dipped lemon flavors, while another 30 or so varieties hit the market for Christmas, Halloween, and other periods.

You can buy an absurd amount of Peeps merch. Peeps products that have nothing to do with food include Peeps socks (bunnies or ducks, in youth and adult sizes, $9), Peeps hoodies ($40), Peeps trucker hats ($20), Peeps microbead pillows ($20), Peeps earbuds ($10), Peeps shoelace accessories ($8), Peeps scented candles ($20), and a variety of plush Peeps toys priced as high as $100.

There are Peeps art shows and contests all over. The sixth annual Peeps Art Exhibition at the Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin runs through April 12, while the Washington Post, Michigan’s MLive.com, and others host Peeps diorama contests each year. The Pioneer Press in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, meanwhile, has bragging rights for putting on the first Peeps diorama contest, back in 2004. Nationwide, there are more than a dozen Peeps-themed art shows and contests. One ambitious young artist made Katy Perry’s Left Shark with Peeps this year.

(Perhaps matzo art could be the next trend? To celebrate Passover this year, one artist in Philadelphia used 300 boxes of matzo to create two six-foot-tall matzo towers and cover 1,200 square feet in a floor-to-ceiling exhibit called “Into the Desert.”)

They’re core ingredients in Easter cocktails. Restaurants, bars, and resorts roll out Peeptinis, Patron & Peep cocktails, and more, usually with bunny- or duck-shaped Peeps as garnishment.

They’re being paired with craft beers too. A couple of establishments in Pennsylvania offer a three-course pairing of craft brews and Easter candy, and Peeps—made in PA—are one of the “courses.” The brag-worthy gastronomic adventure costs $10, and comes with a souvenir pint glass.

Peeps Milk is a thing. Three varieties of Peeps-flavored milk went on sale a month ago: Marshmallow Milk, Chocolate Marshmallow Milk, and Easter Egg Nog. We’re still waiting to see what happens when anyone is brave enough to use the milk in a bowl of sugary cereal.

So is Peepshi—a.k.a. Peep sushi rolls. Peepshi, which incorporates crispy rice treats rather than raw fish, is one of 60 official recipes listed at the Peeps website. Those are only the “official” recipes, mind you. There are hundreds if not thousands more unofficial Peeps recipes out there, including things like Peeps Pizza and Peeps Kebabs.

A Peeps movie is in the works. Around Easter time last year, filmmaker Adam Rifkin (writer of “Small Soldiers,” director of “Detroit Rock City”) optioned the TV and movie rights for Peeps. The plot for the film supposedly involves a wild adventure around a Peeps diorama contest, featuring a lost Peep and, we’re guessing, quite a few shenanigans and sugar jokes.

TIME Advertising

Pillsbury Doughboy Inventor Rudolph R. Perz Dies at 89

A Pillsbury Doughboy balloon float at the 87th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York November 28, 2013
Eric Thayer—Reuters A Pillsbury Doughboy balloon float at the 87th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York November 28, 2013

The "Poppin' Fresh" creator imagined a doughboy popping out of a Pillsbury dough can

Pillsbury Doughboy creator Rudolph R. Perz died Wednesday aged 89. He invented one of the most iconic characters in modern advertising for the home baking brand.

According to General Mills, which owns Pillsbury, the chubby baking icon first debuted in a 1965 Pillsbury crescent roll advertisement, boasting 87% brand recognition three years later among American consumers. Perz, a copywriter for the Leo Burnett advertising agency, designed the trademark character while imagining a soft doughboy popping out of a Pillsbury dough can, naming his creation “Poppin’ Fresh.”

Perz used stop-motion clay action to animate the doughy kitchen helper and give him a mirthful laugh when tickled in the stomach. The Pillsbury Doughboy character has since spawned everything from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day floats to doll playsets, in addition to helping millions of American housewives and husbands bake cakes and rolls.

“We are saddened by the loss of Rudy Perz. Nearly 50 years ago, he created one of America’s most loved and adored characters, the Pillsbury Doughboy. Our thoughts are with Rudy’s family during this difficult time,” Pillsbury president Liz Nordlie said in a statement.

Perz’s funeral will be held in the Chicago area this weekend.

TIME Retail

Amazon Basically Just Unveiled the Future of Shopping and It’s Awesome

No, the Dash Button is not an April Fool

Amazon.com unveiled its latest innovation Tuesday — a tiny device that allows you to order household items at the touch of a button.

The Dash Button is a Wi-Fi enabled plastic controller that connects to a customer’s smartphone through the Amazon app. The buttons can be stuck or hung anywhere around the house — like on your washing machine, say. If you run out of detergent, you just push the button and an order is automatically sent to Amazon for that particular product.

More than a dozen brands — listing about 255 of the kind of bulky products you need to replenish often — are available to order through the Dash Button program.

The device allows users to cancel their order within 30 minutes, and the order will only process once, so you won’t end up with tons of detergent being delivered to your door.

The timing of Amazon’s announcement has got many people wondering if it’s a prank for April Fool’s Day. Others see the timing as a stroke of marketing genius, because while people are trying to decide if it’s a hoax they are also doing precisely what Amazon wants them to do — which is talk about Dash and share the news.

Amazon spokesperson Kinley Pearsall confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that the Dash Button is indeed real, although for now the service is only available to Amazon Prime customers by invitation only.

Read next: 7 Things You Probably Had No Idea Amazon Sold

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

MONEY Advertising

The True Purpose of Heineken Light’s New Money-Back Guarantee

Heineken Light

It's easy to make a promise when you're pretty sure no one will ever take you up on it.

Heineken Light just introduced quite an impressive-sounding guarantee, in which customers will get their money back if they think that it’s not the best-tasting light beer on the market.

The new guarantee is being promoted with a couple of commercials featuring Neil Patrick Harris. The humor in the one 15-second spot embedded below stems from the fact that Harris isn’t quite sure how anyone would actually get a refund.

“Not me, I won’t” give you your money back, the actor and Oscars host says in the commercial. “Someone will give you your…” he stammers and then stops, before clarifying, “someone at Heineken, I’m guessing,” while looking around bewildered. In other words, he has no clue how the money-back guarantee would work in real life. Ha!

If you’re interested, have a look at the ad yourself:

What’s funny in a different way about this commercial is that the ad brings to light how virtually no consumers understand the nitty-gritty of money-back guarantees—mainly because almost no one ever gets their money back from them.

It’s easy for Heineken to make this promise concerning its product, because people simply “won’t return the beer — too much hassle and humiliation,” Kit Yarrow, consumer psychologist and frequent Money.com contributor explained via email. “The whole point of the ad is to make a big statement about quality/taste — guarantees are one of the strongest possible ways to demonstrate confidence. Heineken cleverly reduced the ‘huckster’ quality of a money-back guarantee by adding a dribble of irony and self-mockery through Neil Patrick Harris’ delivery.”

Money-back guarantees have been around for decades. An old Journal of Retailing study succinctly sums up a few of the key reasons why stores and manufacturers roll them out, especially when it comes to newer, higher-end products:

Such a guarantee may increase a retailer’s profits. They may increase the sales volume by encouraging shoppers to try new products. In addition, they may allow the retailer to charge higher prices because the reduction in risk from the product’s being a poor match with their tastes may increase a consumer’s willingness to pay.

Overall, these guarantees tend to provide far more benefit to retailers than they do for consumers. They’re the “commercial equivalent of a date pulling out his or her wallet with no intention of paying,” as a colleague at Time.com once put it.

It’s not just retailers and product manufacturers that make use of money-back guarantees as a means to instill confidence and drum up business. A small Canadian newspaper just introduced a money-back guarantee for subscribers, while a pastor in Pennsylvania recently told his congregation that he’d be happy to give donations to the church back to anyone who doesn’t feel blessed.

“We’ve never had one person ask for their money back, which means that God is true to his word and that we’re seeing the blessings of God being poured out in people’s lives,” said the pastor, Robbie McLaughlin of Hope City Church in Harrisburg.

It’s hard to say how many people take companies up on their money-back guarantees because this information is rarely shared with the public, if it’s tracked at all. Walmart introduced a much-heralded fresh produce money-back guarantee in 2013. But as one retail insider noted, it’s somewhat of an empty promise, because the likelihood of anyone employing the guarantee for a refund is small: “How many customers are going to return to Walmart and stand in a customer service line to return a $3 produce item?”

Some money-back guarantees come with substantial fine print, as well as loopholes that can make it extra difficult to get your money back. For instance, a MousePrint.org study on the money-back guarantees highlighted how Federal Express’s promise was undercut by a line of fine print explaining the “guarantee can be suspended, modified or revoked at our sole discretion without prior notice to you.”

One of the best-known money-back guarantees comes from Hampton Hotels, which has had such a guarantee for more than a quarter-century, and which claims to have given away “millions of dollars in free room nights” over the years to guests who weren’t fully satisfied with their stays. Even with those refunds factored in, the company says the guarantee has been great for business. One reason is that most people with complaints “merely wanted the management to know about the problems,” according to a company press release celebrating the guarantee’s 25th anniversary, and they didn’t actually ask for their money back. Most importantly, the guarantee has served as “key driver of incremental business for the brand, with about 75 percent of all hotel guests aware of the offer and about half reporting that it has some influence on their hotel choice.”

TIME Companies

Toys ‘R’ Us Wants to Make Its Stores More Fun For, Well, the Kids

The Toys R Us Inc. logo is displayed inside a store ahead of Black Friday in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014
Peter Foley—Bloomberg/Getty Images The Toys R Us Inc. logo is displayed inside a store ahead of Black Friday in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

Makes sense

In effort to contend with online retailers and discount box stores, Toys ‘R’ Us is planning an overhaul aimed at making its stores more appealing for its core market: children.

Bloomberg reports the company will start with a prototype store in New York this year that will feature interactive technology and — why didn’t they think of this before? —a play area. If the kids are enjoying themselves, the thinking goes, parents will spend more time, and money, in the store.

“It has to be something where kids want to go and play,” CEO Antonio Urceley said on Tuesday, “We have to reinforce that we are a specialist.”

Toys ‘R’ Us is struggling to compete with retailers like Amazon.com and Target, which undercut the toy brand on price. The company hopes that souped up stores will make up for that.

Additionally, the company plans to hire more staff at Babies ‘R’ Us to boost customer service that it admits has been slacking.

The struggles of Toys ‘R’ Us are not new. In 2005, it became a jointly held private corporation owned by Bain Capital Inc., KKR & Co. and Vornado Realty Trust. Since then, it has failed to garner momentum for an initial public offering with the last attempt in 2013 failing due to “unfavorable market conditions.”


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