PepsiCo Brings Happiness Home in China With Celebs, Bros and a Boo Lookalike

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 27, 2015 01:41 PM

It's now the norm (alas) to see rooms full of people looking at their phones rather than talking to one another. This scene becomes even more disheartening when the room is filled with family and friends—and it's a global phenomenon.

PepsiCo intends to do something about this social media-fueled trend in its key market of Greater China. 

The beverage (and food) giant has partnered with China Women’s Development Foundation (CWDF), video-making and sharing app Meipai, and a handful of celebrities—including a dog who could be Boo's cousin, wearing a Pepsi logo bow on his collar.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Smarter, Bolder, Faster: 5 Questions with Century 21's Mike Callaghan

Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2015 12:32 PM

Century 21 just wrapped up its annual agent conference with the launch of a new marketing campaign, which continues its "Smarter, Bolder, Faster" messaging.

Two new TV ads position Century 21 agents as the best in the business. One, "The Chase," has an agent racing against the clock to deliver a message before his clients board their flight. The other, "Mom's Basement," features an agent tasked with finding the perfect bachelor pad for a man who would prefer to stay in his mom's basement just a little longer.

The campaign includes three major sponsorships with US Soccer, USA Bobsled & Skeleton national teams, and CFH Racing and IndyCar Series driver Josef Negarden.Continue reading...

media brands

Kicking Off TV Upfront Season, Nick Revives Noggin Brand as Kids App

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 27, 2015 11:01 AM

At its upfront event for TV and digital advertisers this week, Viacom's Nickelodeon, now 35 years old, announced the resurrection of its former Noggin TV brand as a mobile app for preschoolers—and the return of beloved characters Moose A. Moose and Zee D. Bird.

Noggin, the cable channel that was renamed Nick Jr. in 2009 and went off the air in Feb. 2012, is relaunching as a $5.99/month ad-free subscription video service with kid-friendly content.

Coming to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch on March 5, titles at launch will include: Allegra’s Window, Blue’s Clues, Blue’s Room, Franklin and Friends, Gullah Gullah Island, Little Bear, Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends, Ni Hao, Kai-lan, Oswald, Pocoyo, Robot and Monster and The Upside Down Show.

“We are reintroducing the Noggin name with this new mobile service because of its built-in equity with moms and as a signal of the high-quality preschool content that will be curated for it,” stated Cyma Zarghami, the recently-promoted president of the Viacom Kids and Family Group. Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: CNN, IBM, Netflix and More

Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2015 07:57 AM


CNN and other cable news outlets fuel frenzy over llamas on the loose, as the social web also goes wild over #thedress, whose maker (and wearer) reaps rewards. Meanwhile, another dress—Calvin Klein's pearl-encrusted Oscars gown for actress Lupita Nyong'o—is stolen.

IBM shifts $4 billion in spending to cloud and mobile.

Netflix finds room for product placement deals for AB InBev and Samsung.

Apple Watch will be unveiled on March 9.

Weight Watchers loses ground more quickly to fitness trackers.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

Brands React to FCC Net Neutrality Vote

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 26, 2015 04:57 PM

Verizon net neutrality morse code

In an historic victory for proponents of net neutrality, America's Federal Communications Commission has voted (as expected) to regulate the Internet under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act, currently applicable to telephone service. The ruling enables the FCC to prevent Internet service providers (ISPs) from manipulating the speed sites are transmitted on their networks.

Big ISPs like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, along with the cable industry's National Cable and Telecommunications Association, are expected to sue the FCC in an effort to have the ruling thrown out.

In a surprisingly fresh reproach, Verizon issued its response on its public policy blog in Morse code (suggesting the archaic nature of the ruling) translated in part as, "The FCC today chose to change the way the commercial Internet has operated since its creation."Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Will Rebranding Fruits and Vegetables to FNV Make Kids Go For Beets Over Beats?

Posted by Dale Buss on February 26, 2015 03:32 PM

Breaking news from the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) Summit in Washington, D.C. today: Parents, stop begging your kids to eat their fruits and vegetables. They're now called FNV (yo).

In a cringeworthy attempt to make produce hipper, the public/private PHA, a spinoff of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign, is hoping that FNV, a Salt-N-Pepa-like acronym for Fruits 'n' Veggies, will make America's emoji-spinning, text-savvy youth mind their peas and carrots (and eat them, too).

Like generations of parents before them, they've got their work—getting kids to choose beets over Beats—cut out for them.Continue reading...

brand accolades

KFC Turns 50 in the UK with Edible Cup and Some Sweet, Sweet Treats

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 26, 2015 02:42 PM

In February 1965, American planes were dropping bombs on North Vietnam, Malcolm X was murdered, Queen Elizabeth II visited Africa and the Beatles recorded “Ticket to Ride.”

Colonel Harlan Sanders was still sporting a goatee, while the execs at what was then called Kentucky Fried Chicken set their sights on conquering a whole new market: the UK.

Now, 50 years after its first UK restaurant opened, KFC is celebrating with a product many hope will come to the US: an edible coffee cup made of a biscuit wrapped in white chocolate.Continue reading...

mobile brands

Samsung Elevates Art of the Tease Ahead of Galaxy S6 Reveal

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 26, 2015 01:27 PM

Samsung is teasing—and re-teasing—Sunday's #Unpacked launch of the Galaxy S6 smartphone in advance of the Mobile World Congress, which kicks off in Barcelona two days later.

The brand has been making fun of all the rumors arising from the "Six Appeal" online teasers by AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, slyly posting a follow-up teaser with a winking "all-glass Galaxy" on its Norwegian website.

Displaying “Is This the Next?” at the top of the page, it then highlights such outlandish predictions as an all-glass phone and three-sided display. The site also counts down the time to Sunday’s launch event.Continue reading...

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