October 2014

Tidbit: The best noise-cancelling headphones to silence the commute



With so many choices, picking a new set of noise-cancelling headphones for the train, plane or car journey without over- or under-paying, is difficult.

Trust me, I have just lost mine and I feel totally naked without these precious headphones.

Travellers know that when it comes to making journeys more bearable, good noise-cancelling headphones can make the difference.

Active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones use microphones located on the ear cups to detect incoming unwanted sound and blast the inverse of that sound out of the earphones. The sound waves overlap, cancelling each other out and silencing outside noise.

Most noise-cancelling technology is designed to block out the drone of aircraft, road noise or hum of computers, placing a veil of silence over the ears allowing listeners to clearly hear the music without the volume needing to be turned up to 11. But hundreds of ANC headphones are available, making choosing the right pair hard.

My favorite? Bose Quiet Comfort 25.


The just released QC25s are Bose’s new flagship noise-cancelling headphones. The large cup earphones and padded band across the head are comfortable, while they are light for extended wear. They have quite a firm grip on the head that some might find uncomfortable.

The QC25s have good passive sound blocking, while their noise cancelling is unparalleled, silencing more ambient background noise than any other headphone tested.

A single AAA battery lasts 35 hours. Once it runs out the headphones still play music, but sound muted. The headphone cable is removable and has an in-line remote.

Verdict: the best noise cancelling with decent sound but at a high price.

Tidbit: #Perk Up: Facebook and Apple Now Pay for Women to Freeze Eggs

The Women’s forum for the economy and society said this is a real scandal.

The main conclusion about this subject during this event is: don’t touch to my oocytes!
The companies offer egg-freezing coverage under slightly different terms: Apple covers costs under its fertility benefit, and Facebook under its surrogacy benefit, both up to $20,000. Women at Facebook began taking advantage of the coverage this year.

I was chocked to read this news when Sheryl Sandberg was talking about woman power lately.

Tidbit: #WatchHungerStop


Michael Kors asked Halle Berry to go to Nicaragua on behalf of Watch Hunger Stop. There she joined the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), to visit schools and meet children helped by the campaign.

In July 2014, Mickael Kors traveled with Halle Berry and World Food Programme to Nicaragua on behalf of Watch Hunger Stop. The hunger-fighting initiative, launched by Michael Kors in early 2013, sponsors school meals for children in need around the world. Berry has been a partner with Kors from the beginning of Watch Hunger Stop, and her visit was captured by a camera crew from National Geographic. (Watch the video).

They’ve worked with God’s Love We Deliver to serve meals to people in need in NYC. They took over Times Square to help raise awareness about the world’s most solvable problem. And with World Food Programme, we had the opportunity to visit a family whose lives we’ve touched (and visa versa).

As Berry toured schools and met with families in the rural province of Jinotega, her gentle warmth charmed the children she met. At each stop, with parents and teachers shyly looking on, she asked students about the games they loved and the subjects they studied, hugging the little ones and making the older ones laugh. At lunchtime, she helped the mothers of the village—who are responsible for preparing and delivering the food that WFP provides, with help from Watch Hunger Stop—serve a nutritious meal.


Kors/ WFP shoot in El Cu?? area of Jinotega department of Nicaragua.


Now Michael Kors is offering one winner and a friend the chance to accompany WFP on their own field visit, where they’ll be able to experience WFP’s school meals program in action. To learn more about this rare opportunity, and for official rules, visit DestinationsKors.


Tidbit: The Future of work.

Why The Most Successful Organizations Have Women And Millennials In Charge.

Gender and generational gaps have recently become big buzz words in the business world. According to a new study, it’s not a passing trend: Having millennials and women in leadership positions directly correlates with the success of a company.

The Global Leadership Forecast looked at the workforce issues affecting 13,124 leaders from around the world, representing 48 countries and 32 major industries.

Millennials present a unique catch-22: Their presence in leadership positions related to the company’s growth rate. Companies with a 30% proportion of young people in higher roles saw « aggressive growth, » according to the study. When it’s more like 20%, they saw « little to low growth » rates. At the same time, they were the least engaged of all the age groups studied, and the most likely to leave within a year.

The researcher suggest strategies to keep this catalyst-generation engaged and loyal, including social learning opportunities, virtual workshops, and ways to connect in person with mentors. See the millennial breakout section of the study below:

Women in leadership, like millennials, are a sign of successful companies. Of the participating organization, those in the top 20% financially had almost twice as many women in leadership roles, as well as more high-potential women holding those roles. Visualize that gap below:

The main issue holding these high-potential women back, it seems, is a lack of opportunities. Women had the edge in development plans and in knowing where they needed to improve, but men had more chances to lead in visible ways: In multinational teams, geographically dispersed groups, and in international assignments. These missed chances to shine mean that women, on average, get fewer shots at big projects and promotions.

« To improve business outcomes, bolster current development programs so that all leaders, including women and millennials, can improve their skills,” study coauthor Evan Sinar, Ph.D. said in a press release. “Development opportunities build confidence. Provide opportunities for stretch assignments, ensure formal practices are in place to facilitate those opportunities and fully commit your support to mentoring programs to develop and prepare new leaders.”

From the study, the takeaway from all of this number-crunching:

These gaps are worth noting and addressing. Encouraging gender diversity in your leadership pool means greater diversity of thought, which, in turn, leads to improved problem solving and greater business benefits.


Tidbit: Mercedes-Benz USA turns to Facebook and Instagram to launch its new GLA

When it comes to marketing, Mercedes-Benz is known for using creative that’s just like its vehicles — smart, forward-looking and meticulously crafted. That’s why when it came time to launch the new GLA compact SUV, Mercedes-Benz chose to use Facebook and Instagram together to tell its story to a targeted audience and create a campaign worthy of the company’s proud heritage. The results of this campaign show that advertising across both Facebook and Instagram can garner stronger results than a campaign on one of the two platforms alone, especially when branding and direct-response are combined.

Thinking Thematically
With the GLA, Mercedes-Benz is entering the compact SUV segment for the first time and sought to boost awareness of the vehicle and spark conversation about the model in the months leading up to launch. Mercedes-Benz started developing its creative by looking at popular themes on Instagram to learn how it could participate with the community in a way that was relevant, authentic and, of course, visually stunning.

In the Instagram theme #ThingsOrganizedNeatly, people in the community post photographs of all kinds of items — books, flowers, pencils — organized in neat, interesting ways. Mercedes-Benz decided to use a custom mat in the shape of the GLA cargo area as a canvas for creativity and a tool to show the utility of the new SUV.

Mercedes-Benz partnered with photographers and brand ambassadors to create a new theme, #GLAPacked, which asked the question, “What would you pack in your GLA?” The photographic results were beautiful, whimsical and engaging.

Fueling the Campaign
Looking to boost consideration among young buyers and drive traffic to the GLA website, Mercedes-Benz also leveraged the power of Facebook and Instagram together – a first across the two platforms. Ads on Facebook highlighted the GLA’s progressive design, premium interior and versatility and linked directly to the GLA’s webpage so that people could explore the vehicle further. Mercedes-Benz used consistent messages on both platforms, highlighting visual inspiration on Instagram and using Facebook to drive action.

Early indications show that advertising across Facebook and Instagram is more powerful than running a standalone campaign on either of the two platforms alone (controlling for even frequency across cells):

  • People who saw ONLY branding ads across Instagram and Facebook (and received no ad driving click through to the website) generated 54% more clicks to the GLA site vs. the control group
  • But when we added Facebook direct-response ads into the equation, people who saw a combination of Instagram and Facebook branding ads followed by Facebook click-through ad saw a 580% lift in visits to the site (vs. control who saw no ads at all).

We’re excited to learn more about how Facebook and Instagram can complement each other, and are currently working with other brands on cross-platform campaigns. We look forward to sharing more of what we learn.

To view the case study, click here.



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