If you're feeling good about the market, you're not alone. Take my hand as we go over some of this week's more uplifting headlines.
1. Chipotle swaps cilantro for oregano
Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG ) is trying to give a fast-casual spin to another ethnic cuisine.
The country's popular burrito-roller revealed this week that it's financially backing a Colorado pizzeria. Pizzeria Locale offers a model that should be familiar to fans of Chipotle or its newer, Asian-inspired ShopHouse. Customers step up to the counter, following their pre-baked pizzas as they are built to order along the assembly line. Speedy ovens are then used to heat up the 11-inch pizzas within a couple of minutes.
ShopHouse hasn't led Chipotle to lose focus on its flagship chain, and this isn't likely to get in the way either.
2. SodaStream bears fruit
SodaStream (NASDAQ: SODA ) launched a viral campaign this holiday season blaming Coke for Santa's plump physique. And why not? Coke has depicted Santa swigging its namesake cola for more than 80 years.
Playing off the #GreenSanta hashtag, SodaStream -- the company behind the popular beverage-maker that cranks out sodas containing a third of the calories, carbs, and sugar of Coke -- paints a fit and trim Santa who works out and has a new diet that includes SodaStream products instead of soda.
Sure, Santa could have simply switched to Diet Coke. One can also argue that attacking Santa's physique won't win too many fans now that it's not politically correct to knock someone's body image. However, SodaStream was able to wrap up the campaign this week with a slender Santa donning a green suit.
Take that, Coke.
3. Please don't let me be misunderstood
Another smart holiday marketing campaign comes from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) . The consumer tech giant's ads rarely tug at the heartstrings, but that's just what its holiday-themed "Misunderstood" campaign does.
There's no point in ruining it for you if you haven't seen it.
Apple put out the video on Monday, and by Friday morning it was closing in on 5 million views on YouTube alone. Well played, Cupertino. Well played.
4. IMAX keeps getting bigger in China
This may have been a week dominated by a leading multiplex operator going public, but it was kicked off by IMAX (NYSE: IMAX ) announcing a deal to grow its global reach in super-sized screens with enhanced projection systems.
Wanda Cinema Line, China's largest movie-theater operator, confirms that it will install an additional 80 IMAX screens. It's just another example of validation for the top dog in premium theatrical experiences.
5. Baidu is a hit in security software
Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU ) may be primarily seen as China's search engine, but it's been making big bets this year on everything from video to mobile-apps marketplaces to security software.
It was able to do a bit of bragging this week after Baidu Antivirus was named the "most promising antivirus" in Softonic.com's annual Big Antivirus Comparison. Baidu's free platform also placed third overall in system performance. Naturally, putting out security software for Windows devices won't be as lucrative as its paid search stronghold, but it's a smart way not only to diversify but also to grow as a global force. Baidu Antivirus is available globally in a few different languages.
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