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sustainability

Business, World Leaders Urged to Walk Their Talk at UN Climate Summit

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 23, 2014 06:15 PM

During the kick-off to the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday, business leaders and political leaders vowed to action plans on behalf of their companies or countries. Commitments made to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the General Assembly included, on the corporate side:

IKEA announced it's expanding the availability of residential solar panels from the UK to the Netherlands and Switzerland and six additional countries and also unveiled "a new commitment for all plastic material used in its home furnishing products to be 100% renewable and/or recycled by 2020."

Mondelez International Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld "joined world leaders at the UN Climate Summit to announce the first global timeline to slow and then end forest loss. The New York Declaration on Forests strives to cut forest loss in half by 2020, and end it by 2030—and also calls for restoring at least 350 million hectares of degraded forest lands by 2030, an area greater than the size of India." She also pledged "new support for the UNDP Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil Platform."

• In all, 39 major companies (incuding Walmart, Unilever and McDonald's) and 32 countries (but not, alarmingly, Brazil) signed the Declaration on Forests, including Asia Pulp and Paper, whose longtime foe Greenpeace welcomed the Declaration but also urged that voluntary action not replace government action.Continue reading...

auto motive

Luxury-Craving Cadillac Exits Detroit for Global HQ in New York

Posted by Dale Buss on September 23, 2014 02:27 PM

From Park Avenue to Madison Avenue, New York is home to the largest concentration of high net worth individuals in North America. So why wouldn't an ambitious US premium brand want to be headquartered there?

That's exactly what Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen was thinking when he persuaded the General Motors brain trust to allow him to break the brand free from its Detroit roots and move the global Cadillac headquarters to NYC's tony Soho district. GM announced today that it's expanding Cadillac into a separate business unit as part of a "strategic realignment" for its flagship brand that also includes the creation of a Cadillac "leadership council" headed by de Nysschen.

"There is no city in the world where the inhabitants are more immersed in a premium lifestyle than in New York," de Nysschen said in a GM press release. "Establishing our new global headquraters in Soho places Cadillac at the epicenter of sophisticated living. It allows our team to share experences with premium-brand consumers and develop attitudes in common with our audience."Continue reading...

branding together

Cup of Joey: Eight O'Clock Coffee and Warner Bros. Celebrate 20 Years of Friends

Posted by Elisabeth Dick Oak on September 23, 2014 12:34 PM

Before you even walk into the new Central Perk pop-up at the corner of Lafayette and Broome Streets in New York City, the first thing you notice is the line stretching around the block. On opening day, nearly 1,500 curious New Yorkers and fans from Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Germany and the Philippines queued up to get their Friends fix and gulped 1,060 free cups of Eight O'Clock Coffee. 

Once inside, you feel as if you've entered a mini-museum. The walls are plastered with photos. Mannequins model costumes from the show. Glass cases display memorabilia such as Ross's "Science Boy" comic book, Monica's engagement ring and Joey's Soap Opera Digest cover issue.

While the pop-up is not an exact replica of the show's Central Perk coffee shop, guests are invited to get their pic snapped on the original pumpkin-colored couch (was it really that orange?) and even meet actor James Michael Tyler, who played barista Gunther on the show.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

Philips Sheds Light on Future Vision by Splitting in Two

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 23, 2014 11:57 AM

Philips, long known for its lighting—from tradtional bulbs to the innovative app-controlled Hue line—and consumer electronics products ranging from electric shavers to toothbrushes, has been working hard this year to try and get consumers and investors to see it in a new light. As its Instagram bio notes, "Philips is a health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation."

With innovation often comes disruption, which is why the Dutch company that was founded in 1891 announced Tuesday that it will split into two entities to sharpen its strategic focus: one that will focus on lighting and the other (called HealthTech) centered on healthcare and technology, particularly in fast-growing Asian markets.Continue reading...

branding together

Apple Squashes Rumor Mill Over Beats Music Plans

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 23, 2014 11:08 AM

"Apple Plans To Shut Down Beats Music." "Apple denies it is shutting down Beats Music."

Those headlines, from TechCrunch and USA Today respectively, came with hours of one another, proving that even if Apple is not "shutting down" Beats Music, it's sensitive about its role as proud new papa.

It also signals that Apple watchers and Beats fans alike are jumpy, maybe even distrustful, about what the big Apple might have in store for the popular music brand started by Pepsi-endorsed game-changer Dr Dre, whose headphones to streaming music brand arguably has more street cred and cool than Apple's white earbuds and iTunes combined.

Oddly, Dre (the richest hip-hop artist ever thanks to the Apple deal, Forbes announced today) and the Beats brand were mostly MIA during Apple's big iPhone/Apple Watch product reveal earlier this month. And given the subsequent news that Apple is developing a new music format with U2 (linked to Apple by Beats' Jimmy Iovine and a long relationship with Steve Jobs), it could appear that the honeymoon following the $3.2 billion Apple-Beats marriage is over.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Karl Lagerfeld, Philips, Omnicom and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 23, 2014 09:09 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple releases new iPhone 6 TV commercials amid speculation regarding its plans for the Beats Music service.

NFL names a female CMO in PepsiCo veteran Dawn Hudson.

Karl Lagerfeld creates his own newspaper, Karl Daily, in content marketing move.

Philips spins off lighting business in corporate breakup to focus on fastergrowing healthcare markets, especially in Asia.

Omnicom forms CRM alliance with Salesforce.com and launches Instagram ads in the UK with Starbucks, Cadbury and others as CFO steps down.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Air France pilots vote to extend strike.

Atlantic City announces redevelopment plan as Revel casino group pulls plug on branded property.

BMW hopes for high-tech halo with i8-focused campaign.

Baskin-Robbins survives frozen yogurt.

Betty Crocker cookbook app woos new generation of chefs.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Auto Motivator: 5 Questions with Chrysler Group CMO Olivier François

Posted by Dale Buss on September 22, 2014 05:32 PM

Since Fiat Chrysler outlined its ambitious growth plans for most of its brands at a meeting in May with investors and journalists, and of course even before that, Fiat Chrysler Group CMO Olivier François has been strategizing about the implications for marketing of Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram in the United States and abroad.

Among the tall orders he faces are CEO Sergio Marchionne's stretch goal of more than doubling sales of the Chrysler brand by 2018, compared with its 350,000 sales a year ago. More easily achievable goals might be success for the ongoing conversion of Jeep into a global brand; ensuring the continued rise of Ram, which was cleaved from Dodge a few years ago; and sharpening Dodge as a performance brand, rolling it back from its broader positioning of yore.

More challenging could be making Fiat a truly household name in North America. And then there's the automaker's goal to make a triumphant return for Alfa Romeo in US marketplace as a highly regarded luxury-performance brand, decades after it exited quietly.

For François, the overall objective is to help pivot from a marketing-led company, which Chrysler was as it recovered from the 2009 bailout by Fiat and the US government, to a product-led company on the strength of a vibrant string of launches of overhauled and new vehicles which the company is rolling out now.

It's the difference between featuring Eminem in a Super Bowl commercial three years ago to help revive the Chrysler brand with only a warmed-over 200 model to show off, and today, when Chrysler has an all-new, extremely worthy 200 mid-sized sedan to brag about, so it can tailor its messaging around the technology, styling, performance and comfort bona fides of the car and how well it is built.Continue reading...

rebranding

TVGN Cuts Ties with Muddled TV Guide Past with Rebrand to Pop

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 22, 2014 03:01 PM

US cable TV networks love to rebrand, in the ever-elusive chase for younger eyeballs or different demographics, or to reflect a new programming mix, positioning and ad sales focus. So don't get too attached to TVGN, because the channel formerly known as TV Guide Network in the US is rebranding as Pop in the new year.

Owned and operated by CBS and Lionsgate, TVGN is a separate entity from TVGuide.com and TV Guide Magazine, and its latest identity is as a destination for hard-core pop culture consumers, the inspiration for the three-letter moniker. Or as Brad Schwartz, POP’s president of entertainment and media, told TV Week, “When something stands out from the rest, it pops.”

“It’s what everyone is talking about," he added. "When something is so good that it earns a culture of fandom, that’s pop—and that’s what we want our channel to symbolize, a fresh new media personality that puts us firmly alongside the audience.”

As Broadcasting & Cable points out, TVGN's reach of 80 million homes makes it (potentially) an important business for CBS and Lionsgate.

“Pop is an exciting new chapter for a cable network that has made great progress and generated significant ratings momentum over the past year,” said CBS CEO Les Moonves and Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer in a press release. “Our new brand not only positions the channel for continued growth but reflects its identity, focus and fan base.”Continue reading...

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