Google Teams with Sony and Others to Move Into TV

In its attempt to merge television with the Web, Google has teamed with Sony to create Google TV.

With a hi-def TV or Blu-ray player from Sony, viewers will be able to watch regular television and movies or go online to surf services like Google’s YouTube for television content.

At its annual developer conference in June, Google cited the unfriendly menu systems of most cable and satellite television providers, explaining that Google TV will be able to give viewers the content they want when they want it.

Sony will have the player built into its high-definition televisions and Blu-ray players and gadget giant Logitech will also offer separate set-top players. Both will use Google’s Android operating system as their backdrop and devices are expected to hit stores this fall.

So far, the devices will be available only from Sony and Logitech and only at Best Buy stores. Google is working hard to convince other retailers, such as Walmart, to come on board as well. Given the price point and high cost of some components, such as the Intel Atom chips that power them, however, convincing discount retailers to carry Google TV may be a challenge.

Watch for the Sony Internet TV and Blu-ray players in Best Buy stores this fall.

Are Tide Thursdays the New Marlboro Fridays?

In 1993, tobacco giant Philip Morris held a meeting to say that Marlboro would be cutting its cigarette prices significantly in an attempt to hold on to their market.

The 20% cut did more than that – it launched a new phase of marketing for Philip Morris and began a series of techniques that other companies ultimately copied and continue to use today.

In a move whose initial phases look remarkably similar, Proctor and Gamble is going to be holding a meeting to discuss Tide detergents, and the anticipation is that a similar change is about to take place in P&G’s marketing strategy. Whether it will be enough to pull them out of increasingly lagging consumer spending is yet to be seen.

The economy and laundry detergent
In a down economy, women who normally are brand-loyal to a particular detergent may choose cheaper alternatives temporarily, a finding P&G confirmed with surveys. They’ve lost about 19% of the market to discount brands, though 80% of those surveyed say they’ll be back to buying Tide when their budgets aren’t quite so tight.

If P&G is planning a price cut on the level of Marlboro’s, those women may be back to their favorite brands quicker than they thought.