Tag Archives: Mobile Trends

Houzz raises a huge $400M round at a $4B valuation

 If you ask investors in Silicon Valley about Houzz — an app where you browse ridiculously nice homes and check out interesting interior design ideas — they’ll probably quietly mutter that they’re just growing their business. We really don’t hear about Houzz’s business that often. Except now the company says it has raised $400 million led by Iconiq Capital,… Read More
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What brands can learn from Uber — and Travis Kalanick's — spectacular rise and fall

FILE PHOTO -  Uber CEO Travis Kalanick speaks to students during an interaction at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus in Mumbai, India, January 19, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File photo

  • Travis Kalanick, the co-founder and CEO of Uber, has stepped down as the ride-hailing company’s top executive.
  • Brand experts welcome the move, saying it’s the first step Uber needs to reinvent itself.
  • The company and Kalanick’s rise and fall offers several lessons for other brands.
  • Brands must not deprioritize culture, respond quickly in the face of crisis, appoint the right leaders and cultivate their employees as their key advocates, say experts.

A week after Travis Kalanick announced that he would take a leave of absence, the Uber CEO has gone one step further and stepped down as the ride-hailing company’s top executive. 

The move came under pressure from Uber’s top investors, including Fidelity and Benchmark, who asked Kalanick to resign in the wake of numerous scandals that have plagued the company in recent months. 

Uber has been swept up in a swirl of societal discontent recently — and it’s hurt the brand. It’s something that branding experts say could’ve been avoided. 

Here are the lessons that other companies can learn from Uber — and Travis Kalanick’s — spectacular rise and fall:

In the face of crisis, respond swiftly

In the age of social media, where everything is instantly amplified, brands cannot afford to sit back and expect crises to fizzle. Controversies can swell way beyond their expectations, and their response needs to be prompt if they want to minimize the damage to their reputations

 “There are no easy fixes for a company so rocked by scandal,” Jeremy Morgan, a partner in Lippincott’s organizational engagement practice, wrote in Fortune. “In today’s transparent, social world, token gestures carry little weight.”

Uber’s brand first took a hit when it appeared to try to profit off a taxi strike in New York City back in January. It was a tone-deaf move since the strike was a protest against the Trump administration’s first attempt at an immigration ban. Its troubles only intensified when former employee Susan Fowler raised serious allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at the company in February.

While the company stepped up, and eventually released results of an intensive, months long investigation, it came too little, too late. Branding experts said that not only should the company have demonstrated better commitment in dealing with the crisis, but also that Kalanick should have stepped aside long ago.

“They were extremely slow to react and respond,” said Andy Gilman, CEO at crisis communications firm CommCore Consulting Group. “Only now do they seem to be saying that this is serious.”

Leadership is key

A company’s CEO is not only a company’s face, but also the single biggest reflection of corporate character. There is no way to avoid the fact that the way your CEO is viewed will directly impact the way a brand is received, said Ben Ricciardi, CEO of branding agency Times10. 

That can be a very good thing. Think Tesla, for example. Or bad, as was the case with Uber. 

“Kalanick was toxic for the brand given his perceived indifference to the problems surrounding the company, which not only eroded public trust but likely impacted internal culture as well,” said Susan Cantor, CEO at Red Peak Branding. “His departure is the first step to remedying both.”

Kalanick’s exit may seem like a big blow, but it’s not the end of the road for Uber. Plenty of executives have departed during times of crisis, and the companies have done just fine, including Wells Fargo after its phony bank and credit-card account scandal last year, Volkswagen with its emissions cheating scandal in 2015 and even Apple when Steve Jobs first left.

If anything, Kalanick’s departure is the first step Uber needs to reinvent itself. 

“Kalanick’s presence was symbolic of the apathy and toxicity that has characterized Uber of late, and his resignation is the first step to rehabilitating their brand image,” she said.

Make your employees and consumers your advocates

Uber’s current troubles stem from the fact that it let its employees and its drivers down. With its laser-focus on products and services, it overlooked the very people that would give it the first line of defense in that hundreds of thousands of brand loyalists could defend its moves, said Times10’s Ricciardi. 

“Your employees are your greatest ambassadors. Or they are not,” he said. “When past and current employees reflect negatively on your company’s culture or approach, it can, and most likely will, suffer greatly.”

Uber needs to treat its drivers better, and invest in community-building efforts, said Chris Allieri, founder and principal of the public-relations firm Mulberry & Astor. Perhaps it could take a page from competitor Lyft’s playbook, who has embarked on an aggressive campaign to position itself as a socially conscious alternative in a crowded field, and is ramping up it marketing as well as community engagement efforts. 

“Uber’s example shows that brands need to have ongoing community relations efforts,” Allieri said. “Not just market to them and do crisis communications in times of need.”

Invest in culture

The Bay Area’s tech startup culture, which Uber personified, has long been heralded as a huge plus. But the very brash irreverence that propelled Uber forward at first ended up being responsible for its downfall. Uber lacked a cohesive culture and corporate character, and ultimately, its go-getter, adversarial and combative culture ended up coming back to bite it.

“In today’s day and age, a brand needs to stand for something, and unfortunately there was no rallying cry around Uber,” said Mulberry & Astor’s Allieri. “Had Uber aligned itself with and had a stronger take on community, environmental or political issues, they might have had a bit more of a halo around them.”

Culture is more important today than ever before, and consumers expect brands to have causes and reward altruism, added Red Peak’s Cantor.

“Altruistic companies have a higher rate of retention and greater resonance with the audiences,” she said.

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The 'Wonder Woman' cinematographer explains how he pulled off its most miraculous scene

Wonder Woman

As “Wonder Woman” continues to be a box-office juggernaut, more people are celebrating the moments that stand out from the movie, and one favorite is the “No Man’s Land” scene.

It’s the moment when Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) reveals herself as Wonder Woman. Pinned down in the frontlines of World War I, she climbs out of a trench to single-handedly take on an entire platoon of German soldiers. Standing in the middle of “No Man’s Land,” a battlefield given the name because no man has been able to cross it before, Wonder Woman takes on all the enemy firepower, allowing Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) and the other allied forces to sneak across the terrain and take out the German forces.

As we said at the time of the movie’s release: “If you aren’t sucked into the movie by this point, you should really check to make sure you have a pulse.”

While in a piece for the LA Times, Meredith Woerner echoed the sentiments of a number of viewers when she said she cried while watching the scene:

“It felt like I was discovering something I didn’t even know I had always wanted… witnessing a woman hold the field, and the camera, for that long blew open an arguably monotonous genre. We didn’t need a computer-generated tree or a sassy raccoon to change the superhero game; what we needed was a woman.”

Director Patty Jenkins has not just made a movie that is a powerful addition to the superhero craze, but with the “No Man’s Land” scene — which she had to fight to get in the movie — she’s created a moment in cinematic history that young girls can use for inspiration to be strong-willed and driven in the real world.

But a lot of those goosebumps (and tears) you got from watching the scene are also courtesy of the movie’s cinematographer, Matthew Jensen

Matthew JensenJensen is no stranger to lensing CGI-fueled projects, having shot “Game of Thrones” and “Fantastic Four” (2015). He could tell when he got to London in September of 2015 to start his 12 weeks of prep work before shooting began that there was a lot riding on the “No Man’s Land” scene.

“I remember the first week we were sitting down and taking a look at the really early previsuals of the sequence and trying to make sense of it,” Jensen recently told Business Insider. “Every week of prep we made suggestions and changes because we knew it would be such an enormous undertaking.”

Jensen said it was exciting to be in a room with Jenkins and visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer and get into how they would reveal Wonder Woman. This entailed talking about how other superheros have been revealed in past movies and how they could do it differently. This led to the idea of having Wonder Woman climb a ladder out of the trench to reveal her full costume. They felt the shot would be “emotionally impactful,” as Jensen put it, if done right.

The anxiety going into shooting any big scene, according to Jensen, is: Can you pull off what was talked about in prep?

“You’re with a whole bunch of people throwing out ideas, so you’re getting a rush from that, but it’s always tempered by this palpable sense of dread,” Jensen said. “I think, ‘Oh my God, how am I going to pull this off?’”

Added to Jensen’s trepidation was the fact that he couldn’t use his regular crew because the production was in London. So he had to work with a local crew. Shooting began in November of 2015, but luckily the “No Man’s Land” scene wasn’t going to be shot until February, so he had some time for everyone to get acclimated with one another.

“I wouldn’t have wanted to tackle that scene early in production,” Jensen said.

The “No Man’s Land” scene was shot over two weeks on an outdoor set in London that was 300 yards in size and extremely muddy. This led to a change of the major shot in the scene.

Jensen and his crew set up wire rigs above the muddy set to hold the camera still and also give it smooth movement. In the frigid winter weather, Gadot went up the ladder for her Wonder Woman reveal numerous times as Jensen tried to get the shot right. Gadot would then go back down into the trench and be covered with coats and blankets as the camera and wire rig would take 15 minutes to reset.

“It was daunting trying to get that right,” Jensen said.

wonder woman 2 warner brosGadot did the ladder shot close to 15 times before they finally wrapped on it. Looking back, Jensen said the wire rig wasn’t “precise enough” for what they wanted to accomplish.

So they ended up shooting Gadot on a green screen for her head-to-toe reveal as Wonder Woman as she got to the top of the ladder.

“It didn’t have the emotional impact we wanted,” Jensen said of the shots from the set. “The terrain was so tricky and getting off the ladder was tricky. It didn’t have the power we wanted it to have.”

Jensen admits that he prefers to do as much as he can in-camera, without digital effects, but in this case he has no regrets about going the CGI route.

“It was 100 percent the way to go and I’m very happy with the results we got,” Jensen said. “Sometimes it’s better to bend reality.”

In November 2016, he saw Jenkins’ cut, and though the CGI and color correction weren’t finished, he got goosebumps watching the scene, especially the buildup of Wonder Woman’s climb up the ladder, for which he included insert shots of her shield, boots, and lasso. But he was still nervous going into the world premiere of the movie.

“I was sitting next to my wife and I nearly squeezed the blood out of her hand throughout the whole premiere,” Jensen said. “Only in the last couple of weeks have I come to terms that people like it.”

But it’s still hard for Jensen to fathom how much the “No Man’s Land” scene has affected audiences. Particularly the idea that fans and fellow DPs will be closely examining his work for years to come.

“It’s just dawning on me as you’re saying it right now,” Jensen said. “To think my work will be studied, I’ve never thought that. I thought at best I would be making movies that would be critically well-received but nobody would see them. It’s extraordinary.”

SEE ALSO: Alison Brie says she looks for acting work that ‘terrifies’ her

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JPMORGAN: There's a chance Walmart will go head-to-head with Amazon to buy Whole Foods (AMZN, WMT, WFM)

Walmart

Amazon’s deal to acquire Whole Foods merger may seem like a dream come true to some, but there’s a realistic chance Walmart could still swoop in to trump Amazon’s $13.7 billion offer, according to JPMorgan. 

Whole Foods stock has been trading above Amazon’s offer of $42 a share, signaling that investors believe a bidding war could emerge and drive up the final price for Whole Foods.

Competitors like Target, Costco, and Kroger have been rumored as potential suitors, and they’d do anything to make this deal harder for Amazon, according to Barclays analyst Karen Short.

According to JPMorgan, Walmart is the only retailer with a legitimate shot of entering the fray.

Here’s JPMorgan (emphasis added):

“From our perspective, we have a hard time seeing Kroger, Costco, or Target coming in over the top. We do think there is a chance that Walmart makes a bid. There are compelling reasons for it to do so (adding new, generally wealthier customers; acquiring a strong brand; generating synergies and efficiencies; et al), in addition to keeping Amazon out of its wheelhouse.” 

Walmart is the only company with the financial might to play ball with Amazon. The current offer for Whole Foods comprises only 3% of Amazon’s market cap and only 6% of Walmart’s. It would match 64% of Kroger’s. 

Here’s how other companies would fare, including Costco (COST), Publix (PUSH), Target (TGT), and Netherlands-based Ahold-Delhaize (AD NA). 

JPMorgan note whole foods walmart

Walmart also has plenty of incentives to make a move for Whole Foods, according to JPMorgan. Among them:

  • Grocery is its strongest advantage right now against Amazon, its top competitor. That moat is significantly diminished once Whole Foods is safely in Amazon’s clutches. 
  • Walmart could leverage the distribution network of its roughly 4,000 locations to help expand Whole Foods’ audience. 
  • Whole Foods would also fit nicely into Walmart’s network of stores without overlapping too much, as their stores are concentrated in urban, high-income locations. 

That’s not to say that a Walmart bid would be a slam dunk. While JPMorgan thinks Walmart is the only competitor in the group “with the means and motive to counterbid,” doing so would have serious downsides.

For starters, it puts Walmart in a defensive position rather than offensive: It already owns a colossal network of brick and mortar grocery stores; what it really needs to improve is its online platform. 

Here’s JPMorgan: 

“Given Walmart’s 20%+ share in grocery, why should the company spend $14B+ on what it’s already good at (selling food via brick-and-mortar) when the money instead could be used to expand and improve Jet.com and Walmart.com? Jet.com is Walmart’s urban/millennial alternative to Amazon Prime, and Walmart.com is in many ways the ‘forgotten man’s’ alternative to Prime.” 

It would also be very difficult to overcome the culture clash. For instance, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey has focused intently on employee welfare — even to the detriment of shareholders, he acknowledges — while Walmart is notoriously stingy on benefits and has reputation for paying minimum wage, JPMorgan notes.

When Walmart spent $310 million last Friday to acquire Bonobos — a high-end brand like Whole Foods — fans of the hip fashion brand were furious, saying it was “no longer cool.” It’s hard to imagine Whole Foods loyalists would be more subdued. 

“As cultural similarity is often a key determinant of a successful merger, we think WMT and WFM have conclusively different guiding principles for the two entities to combine and thrive,” JPMorgan wrote in the note. 

Walmart is probably the only company out there with the financial firepower and the motive to compete with Amazon for Whole Foods. But it wouldn’t be easy, and Amazon, with a cash war chest nearly $20 billion larger than Walmart’s, will have the right to match or beat any offer that comes in.

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Relevnt launches a publisher-centric news app

Relevnt Florida startup Relevnt is experimenting with a new approach to online publishing. Founder and CEO Winder Hughes said that it’s become unrealistic to expect readers to download an app for every publication that they follow, or even to type a bunch of URLs into their mobile browser. At the same time, when publishers rely on big platforms like Facebook and Google for distribution,… Read More

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5 burning questions Blue Apron’s IPO is about to answer

 Blue Apron will be going public in short order, kicking off the second big major consumer IPO of 2017. It’s nowhere near as big as Snap, but the company at the top end of its IPO pricing will be valued at around $3.2 billion as it looks to raise nearly $600 million. The company’s IPO comes at an interesting time as we approach the midpoint for 2017, which has seen a big wave of… Read More

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9 important foods you aren't eating that you should be this summer

shutterstock_309633464

Sure, you know one of the best ways to improve your diet is to cut back on red meat and sweets.

But what about the things you can add to your diet for improved health? The items on this list might not be popular yet among Americans, but they’re all either good for your health or beneficial for the planet.

Plus, many of them make great additions to a summer meal — either in salads or on the grill.

SEE ALSO: 25 ‘superfoods’ you should be eating more of right now

NEXT UP: 15 products you probably thought were healthier than they actually are

Breadfruit.

Breadfruit is found throughout regions with hot, sunny, moist climates, such as the Pacific Islands. The football-sized fruit is covered in prickly, geometric-patterned skin. When hacked open, it resembles a giant kiwi, and the flesh inside is whitish yellow.

Some have called breadfruit “the perfect candidate for tackling world hunger,” and it’s easy to see why. The trees are easy to grow (no seeds are required, merely a root and a pot of soil), and they begin bearing fruit in 3-5 years, according to the Hawaiian Breadfruit Institute.

Plus, it’s good for you: Breadfruit is rich in energy-providing carbs but low in fat, and a single fruit packs about 10 bananas’ worth of potassium.

Chicory.

Instead of adding kale to your next salad, try chicory. It’s a flavorful addition to any food. Chicory is also a good source of fiber, vitamins, folate, and zinc, and it’s very low in calories. In fact, a whole cup of it raw is just seven calories. Chicory was also included on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of “powerhouse” foods. All of the foods on the list pack a lot of key nutrients into each calorie and are linked with a reduced risk of chronic disease. Studies also suggest that people who eat more of them tend to be thinner and live longer than those who rarely or never eat them. 

Jackfruit.

At markets around the world, vendors slice open monstrous yellow orbs called Jackfruit, hack out the fleshy bulbs of the inner part of the fruit, and sell them by the pound. Raw and ripe, the fruit tastes like a cross between a mango and a pineapple. 

But young jackfruit can also be shredded, seasoned, cooked, and served up as an alternative to meat. I recently taste-tested some. It was surprisingly tasty — with a texture similar to pulled pork and a flavor that reminded me of a cross between hearts of palm and kimchi.

Some experts call jackfruit a ‘miracle’ crop, since so many parts of the Jackfruit tree can be used and because the fruit itself is so versatile and nutritious. The flesh is high in calcium, iron, and potassium and low in fat. The edible seeds are good sources of protein.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Whole Foods' CEO described his deal with Amazon as a 'dream come true,' but investors want more (AMZN, WFM)

Whole Foods employee store

When Amazon on Friday announced a $13.7 billion deal to buy Whole Foods, John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, could barely contain his enthusiasm.

In a town hall with employees, he gushed about the impending “marriage”— a metaphor he revisited repeatedly — that was announced six weeks after a “blind date” with Amazon that he characterized as “love at first sight.”

Some Whole Foods investors are decidedly dourer, however, and it appears they have a case that the deal was consummated hastily and was in the best interests of Mackey rather than of shareholders.

Not long after it was announced that Amazon had offered $42 a share to buy the high-end grocer, the stock price began creeping above the deal price, signaling that investors believed a bidding war could emerge and drive up the final price for Whole Foods.

Walmart, Target, Costco, and Kroger — whose shares all plummeted after the deal was announced — have been named as potential rival suitors. But none has entered the fray yet, and it’s uncertain whether any would have the firepower to outbid Amazon. Still, there’s little evidence any of these retailers were even given a shot.

While Amazon’s offer represented a 27% premium over Whole Foods’ stock price, analysts and investors soon began questioning whether it was too cheap. After all, a little over two years ago the company was trading at $57 a share, which would value it at over $18 billion.

Charles Kantor, a managing director at Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers, which owns nearly 3% of Whole Foods, called the offer “thrifty” and said it undervalued Whole Foods’ brand.

“I think there’s the argument that Amazon acquired Whole Foods for free,” he told Reuters, noting that Amazon’s market cap increased by almost the same amount it was paying for the acquisition. “The reaction of shareholders suggests that Amazon has left themselves lots of room to pay more for this strategic asset.”

‘We just fell in love’

Mackey, who called the deal a “dream come true,” appears to have had a singular focus on Amazon since his first trip to Seattle six weeks ago, possibly to the detriment of shareholders.

The initial meeting lasted all of 2.5 hours, according to Mackey, but he and three other Whole Foods execs came away smitten.

“We just fell in love,” Mackey said at the town hall. “It was truly love at first sight.”

Mackey had every reason to fall in love, given that he and his executive team would keep their jobs under the Amazon deal.

Activist investors, specifically the hedge fund Jana Partners, had become a thorn in his side and a threat to his power in recent months, pushing for a management shake-up.

Shortly after Jana disclosed its holding in Whole Foods in April, Mackey and his team hired a top defense banker from Evercore with more than a decade of experience battling activist and hostile investors.

Evercore helped facilitate the deal with Amazon, which would secure Mackey’s future as CEO and provide some relief from the beating he’d taken in the public markets in recent years.

In the town hall, Mackey described Whole Foods as “trapped” by the short-term demands of the quarterly earnings cycle — its profits and stock price have steadily declined in recent years — and effusively endorsed Amazon’s big-picture approach.

“One thing I absolutely love, love so much about Amazon is they think long term,” he said. “They have had the courage that almost no other public company has had: the courage to, basically, resist the drumbeat of short-term, quarterly earnings that have had us trapped here for a couple of years, as our same-store sales came down.”

When an Amazon executive told the crowd that Mackey would stay on as CEO, Mackey interrupted him to chime in with: “Until death do us part.”

Walter Robb, who was co-CEO with Mackey from 2010 until the beginning of this year and remains a member of the board, embraced the deal as well. But he acknowledged at the town hall that he hadn’t even met the Amazon team until the night before the deal was announced.

So did Mackey prioritize his interests at the expense of shareholders?

Walmart shoppers

A bidding war

An Amazon takeover of Whole Foods would almost assuredly make life easier for Mackey, but it isn’t clear whether it’s a good deal for shareholders.

Wall Street analysts say Whole Foods could fetch a significantly higher price for investors and that a bidding war could still erupt.

Rupesh Parikh, an analyst at Oppenheimer, said in a research note that there “could be money left on the table” and raised his target price for Whole Foods to $45.

Barclays analyst Karen Short said she thought the price for Whole Foods could go higher yet. She raised her stock-price target more than 14% over Amazon’s bid, to $48, though she said the company could go for as much as $57 a share.

“Many will do anything to either make this acquisition more costly for Amazon or prevent the asset from landing in Amazon’s lap,” she wrote in a research note.

Short said a competing retailer, such as Walmart, could unlock up to $600 million in cost savings that could make the Whole Foods deal more profitable than it would be for Amazon.

Of course, Walmart would have to absorb the $400 million breakup fee if it outdueled Amazon for Whole Foods. But since its market value has fallen by more than $9 billion since the merger was announced, that may seem a small price to pay.

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Pinterest is pushing its visual search engine for the real world — and it could upend the advertising business

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While Google and Facebook still dominate the beach at the Cannes advertising festival and Snapchat has a pop-up Ferris wheel, Pinterest’s presence is noticeably more pronounced this year. For the first time, the company has built a makeshift villa on the sea.

And the company seems to have a clear message for marketers attending the event, something like: “If you think of us as an app where people post pictures of places they want to visit or things they want to buy for their living-room makeovers, think again. We’re going to be the company that helps you use your phone to search the real world using images.”

Indeed, Pinterest is putting a big emphasis on Lens and the visual search technology behind the product. The still-in-beta tool allows people to snap photos of physical items that bring up visual search results related to the items. Take a picture of a shirt in a store, and get back a series of images of similar shirts.

Pinterest placed Lens demonstration kiosks on the beach at Cannes, where people could snap photos of their own clothes or other products.

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The company sees the tech as a major differentiator, one that may even help Pinterest expand beyond its core commerce-and-crafting audience.

The company’s president, Tim Kendall, told Business Insider at the company’s Cannes pavilion opposite the Carlton Hotel: “We think it’s how discovery is going to increasingly be driven on the phone. We think it’s going to be image-driven.

“We think it’s a really big deal. I think our computer vision technology is the best in the world.”

The Lens tech is also baked into Samsung’s mobile browser, meaning many who don’t use Pinterest will be able to learn more about images they encounter when out surfing the mobile web.

Pinterest recently raised $150 million and is now valued at $12 billion. So it’s a good bet that investors will want Lens to pay off in revenue.

Ultimately, ads may come to Lens. But more immediately, Kendall sees the company’s investment in visual discovery technology as significantly advancing search advertising, an area that Google dominates but Pinterest has recently made a big push into.

Kendall talked about how a theoretical furniture retailer might have to run ads tied to thousands of generic terms like “classic living room” to identify its products in the hope that they help people find the retailer in a web search. But Pinterest’s machine-learning tech can automatically pull thousands of signals from images that can be used to deliver more relevant ads with far less labor, he said.

For example, that retailer’s products may surface when people look for furniture items that fit with their specific home’s design, Kendall said.

“I think this is the way that ads are going to be served,” he said. “We are going to invest more in this. I think keywords are going to go away.”

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Where this 12-time Olympic medalist keeps her medals

Although Olympic medals are not made out of the pure, precious metals, they are extremely valuable. That is why we wonder how athletes keep them safe. Dara Torres, five-time Olympic swimmer and 12-time Olympic medalist, told us where she keeps her medals. 

Torres has teamed up with SHOW MORE OF YOU from Celgene and Otezla — a campaign that is shining light on the psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. To learn more about psoriatic disease, visit the campaign’s website. Following is a transcript of the video.

When I introduce myself, I don’t like to brag and say, “Oh, I won these many medals.”
But, I actually have four golds, four silver, and four bronze medals, from five different Olympic games. 

I am Dara Torres. I am 5 time Olympic swimmer and I am here because I have teamed with Celgene and Otezla for the Show More Of You campaign.

OK, so where do I keep my medals?
Well, I use to keep them under my bed, especially when I lived here in New York, because
I didn’t have a safe in New York and it was just an easy place to leave them.

When my mom asked where I was keeping them, I told her that and she was not a happy camper.

 So my mom made put it in a safety deposit box at the bank. But then, I go to an appearance — maybe leave on a flight at seven at night — I go to the bank after four and they are closed. I am like, “Uh! I can’t get my medal.” So, I am like, “Uh! That’s not a good idea.”

So, now that I leave in a house in a nice neighborhood, I put them in a safe as easy access
and they are very much protected.

But it is funny, because when my mom was on me about trying to keep them in a safe place, at that point in time, I had given her one of my gold medals — because I just wanted her to know how much I appreciated and thanked everything that she had done for me. So one Christmas I did that.

When I came back to visit her, I walk into her house and there’s the medal — the golden medal — in glass —plexiglass case, with a light shinning on them.
I am like, “Wait. Mom, what happened to, like, protecting the medal, so no one steals it?”
So, she may say one thing but definitely does another thing.

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