Advertising: Gothic or Helvetica? For Brands, Fonts Help Tell a Story

Supported by Media Gothic or Helvetica? For Brands, Fonts Help Tell a Story Photo The font used for the title of the Netflix hit “Stranger Things” has become a online phenomenon of its own. Credit When ads for the Netflix show “Stranger Things” first appeared in 2016, the glowing, blood-red, unevenly shaded font that spelled out the title told viewers exactly what they could expect. The retro typeface — and a haunting, one-minute title video — became synonymous with the supernatural thriller series and, as the show gained in popularity, memes centered largely around its instantly recognizable title have become plentiful.
“You’re dealing with text and how people respond to the font,” said Peter Frankfurt, executive creative director on the “Stranger Things” project and founding partner of Imaginary Forces, a visual storytelling and brand strategy company. “None of us ever conceived this would ever be the phenomena that it is.”
Hollywood has long known this marketing trick, with mov..

They Tried to Boycott Facebook, Apple and Google. They Failed.

Supported by Business Day They Tried to Boycott Facebook, Apple and Google. They Failed. SAN FRANCISCO — Ryan Knight, a Democratic activist in Los Angeles, called for a boycott of Apple in February because it hadn’t responded to calls to delete a channel from the National Rifle Association from its streaming-video service after the Parkland, Fla., school shooting.
“Dear @Apple,” Mr. Knight wrote on Twitter. “Your silence is deafening. #BoycottApple.” More than 330 accounts retweeted the message.
How did Mr. Knight post the message? He used an iPhone.
As the reach and influence of Silicon Valley’s tech giants have increased, so have the calls to boycott their products and services. The problem is that pulling off a boycott is not exactly easy: The tech companies’ products are so pervasive that they are difficult to avoid.
That issue was crystallized in recent weeks with Facebook. Hundreds of people deleted their accounts after revelations that the political-data firm Cambridge Anal..

Retailers Race Against Amazon to Automate Stores

Supported by Technology Retailers Race Against Amazon to Automate Stores SEATTLE — To see what it’s like inside stores where sensors and artificial intelligence have replaced cashiers, shoppers have to trek to Amazon Go, the internet retailer’s experimental convenience shop in downtown Seattle.
Soon, though, more technology-driven businesses like Amazon Go may be coming to them.
A global race to automate stores is underway among several of the world’s top retailers and small tech start-ups, which are motivated to shave labor costs and minimize shoppers’ frustrations, like waiting for cashiers. They are also trying to prevent Amazon from dominating the physical retail world as it does online shopping.
Companies are testing robots that help keep shelves stocked, as well as apps that let shoppers ring up items with a smartphone. High-tech systems like the one used by Amazon Go completely automate the checkout process. China, which has its own ambitious e-commerce companies, is emergi..

Hollywood’s Ambassador, Schooled in Diplomacy and the Muppets

Supported by Media Hollywood’s Ambassador, Schooled in Diplomacy and the Muppets LOS ANGELES — Charles H. Rivkin began his Hollywood career in 1988, when Jim Henson hired him to plot a business future for Kermit the Frog.
Mr. Henson’s unexpected death two years later threw the Muppets into crisis. But Mr. Rivkin pushed the little puppet studio toward the booming cable and DVD businesses, ultimately engineering its sale for $680 million in 2000 — $1 billion in today’s dollars.
A hairpin turn into politics awaited. Mr. Rivkin — polished, almost preternaturally so — became a mega-fund-raiser for the soon-to-be-president, Barack Obama, who named him ambassador to France in 2009. After a celebrated run in Paris, where he was the youngest American envoy since the Eisenhower administration, Mr. Rivkin became an assistant secretary of state.
And now Mr. Rivkin, 55, finds himself trying to meld both of those lives — Hollywood insider and Washington influencer — as chairman of the musty Mot..

The Week Ahead: White House to List Chinese Products Facing Tariffs and the March Jobs Report

Supported by Business Day | The Week Ahead White House to List Chinese Products Facing Tariffs and the March Jobs Report Photo A television production line at a factory in Lianyungang, China. The Trump administration is expected this week to announce the list of Chinese products that will be hit with tariffs. Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images TRADE
Trump to release list of next tariff targets.The Trump administration is expected this week to announce the list of Chinese products that will be hit with tariffs over what the administration has called the country’s theft of intellectual property. Mr. Trump has said the levies will affect at least $50 billion in imported goods and will most likely focus on cutting-edge tech products of the kind that United States fears losing out on to China. Americans are more likely to feel the impact of these tariffs than those applied to steel and aluminum in March, because they will probably hit consumer products found on store shelves, r..

Card Data Stolen From 5 Million Saks and Lord & Taylor Customers

Supported by Technology Card Data Stolen From 5 Million Saks and Lord & Taylor Customers Photo The Saks Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan. The theft of credit and debit card numbers from customers of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor adds to the retailers’ already formidable challenges. Credit Nina Westervelt for The New York Times Saks has been hacked — adding to the already formidable challenges faced by the luxury retailer.
A well-known ring of cybercriminals has obtained more than five million credit and debit card numbers from customers of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, according to a cybersecurity research firm that specializes in tracking stolen financial data. The data, the firm said, appears to have been stolen using software that was implanted into the cash register systems at the stores and that siphoned card numbers until last month.
The Hudson’s Bay Company, the Canadian corporation that owns both retail chains, confirmed on Sunday that a breach had occurred.
“W..

Live Nation Rules Music Ticketing, Some Say with Threats

Supported by Live Nation Rules Music Ticketing, Some Say with Threats Photo Live Nation promotes 30,000 concerts around the world each year, including recent tours by artists like Jay-Z and Janet Jackson, in which it played a role. Credit Photos, via Getty Images In 2010, when the Justice Department allowed the two most dominant companies in the live music business — Live Nation and Ticketmaster — to merge, many greeted the news with dread.
Live Nation was already the world’s biggest concert promoter. Ticketmaster had for years been the leading ticket provider. Critics warned that the merger would create an industry monolith, one capable of crippling competitors in the ticketing business.
Federal officials tried to reassure the skeptics. They pointed to a consent decree, or legal settlement, they had negotiated as part of the merger approval. Its terms were strict, they said: it would boost competition and block monopolistic behavior by the new, larger Live Nation.
“There will be ..

Fatal Tesla Crash Raises New Questions About Self-Driving System

Supported by Business Day Fatal Tesla Crash Raises New Questions About Self-Driving System Photo Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving system, shown here in 2015, is coming under new scrutiny after a fatal crash on March 23 in California occurred while the Autopilot feature was engaged. Credit Beck Diefenbach/Reuters In the fall of 2016, Tesla beamed new software over the air to cars on the road in the United States and elsewhere that added safeguards to its Autopilot system to prevent drivers from looking away from the road or keeping their hands off the steering wheel for long periods of time.
The move came in the wake of a crash in Florida in which an Ohio man died when his Model S sedan hit a tractor-trailer while Autopilot was engaged. Federal investigators found that the driver’s hands had been on the steering wheel for only a few seconds in the minute before the crash.
When the upgrades were released, Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, said the new Autopilot system was “really g..

Samuel Belzberg, Corporate Raider in Family Dynasty, Dies at 89

Supported by Obituaries Samuel Belzberg, Corporate Raider in Family Dynasty, Dies at 89 Photo Samuel Belzberg in his office at First City Financial in Vancouver in 1986. He and two brothers founded the company and later expanded it through aggressive corporate takeovers. Credit Canadian Press Samuel Belzberg, a feared corporate raider of the 1980s who perfected the contentious practice known as greenmail to build one of Canada’s foremost family dynasties, then reinvented himself as a successful private-equity investor, died on Friday night in a hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia. He was 89.
He had suffered a stroke, his daughter Wendy Belzberg said in confirming the death.
Apart from his business career, Mr. Belzberg, who lived in Vancouver, was widely known for his philanthropy devoted to Jewish causes, among them the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, one of the world’s leading organizations dedicated to Holocaust research and education. He was its founding chairman.
“..