brand mascots

Brand Mascots: Ronald McDonald Rules Thanks to Taco Bell Campaign

Posted by Catherine Straut on October 30, 2014 04:01 PM

A successful mascot can make or break a brand. More than a marketing tool, brand characters can offer priceless longevity and recognition. Well before brands began engaging consumers with Twitter and Facebook, mascots were a key part of forging the humanization of corporations. Today, they are still used as an anchor for many a product and company’s campaigns, outreach and overarching narrative.

But not all mascots are created equal. Striking the right balance of timely and timeless while crafting a strong notion of personality and coining a catchy jingle or pithy tagline to solidify its presence in the consumer’s mind is no easy feat.

Why and how are some just a flash in the pan—or worse, an ongoing PR nightmare—while others become cultural phenomena or make the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame?Continue reading...

bc q&a

5 Questions: Leslie Gaines-Ross on the Price of Brand Incivility

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 30, 2014 02:44 PM

The fifth annual Civility in America study from Weber Shandwick finds that America has a decorum deficit—and there are implications for brands.

Millennials (born post-1980) and Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) blame the Internet and social media for worsening attitudes and increasingly negative interactions, while Boomers (1945-65) and the Silent Generation (pre-1945) mostly blame politicians and politics. 

This year's study, conducted with Powell Tate and KRC Research, has flagged findings for brands pursuing engagement with millennials, seen by many marketers as the most influential and financially important segment that is empowered and poised to make good on their beliefs.

As the study reveals, millennials are the most likely to stop buying from a company that treats them uncivilly, and will advise others to do the same. Professional and college sports are losing fans, as 24% of millennials have stopped attending sporting events because of uncivil behavior on the field or in the crowd. 

brandchannel spoke with Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist at Weber Shandwick, about the report's insights into the opportunity for brands to engage millennials in a more civil, authentic manner. Continue reading...

black friday

Black Friday Reboot: Kohl's Extols App, Earlier Thanksgiving Hours

Posted by Dale Buss on October 30, 2014 01:28 PM

In the 90s, Kohl's challenged JCPenney, Sears and other former kings of retail with what then was a revolutionary formula: name brands, affordable prices, heavy promotion and shopper convenience. Kohl's leveraged this formula to nationwide expansion in the U.S. and knocked its rivals out of the park.

A couple of decades later, its momentum slowed, CEO Kevin Mansell and Chief Customer Officer Michelle Gass are promising to lead the king of mid-market apparel retailing out of its long wilderness.

Admitting that its stores "haven't been the most inspiring," Mansell revealed a "complete change in the way we run our business," including a new look and feel, a refreshed inventory that's now customized by store (not region), more big-name brands, and the promise of "surprise" and delight in stores under the banner "Find Your Yes."  

And then there's its Thanksgiving/Black Friday plans.Continue reading...

tech innovation

Strike Up the Band: Microsoft Wearable "As Open as You Can Get"

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 30, 2014 11:43 AM

Health-tracking monitors and wearable tech are red hot. Wearables from FitBit, Nike, Samsung and Garmin have led the way on the fitness device front, while the Apple Watch is coming next year.

Now Microsoft is getting a jump on its longtime rival with the announcement of the (drum roll, please) Microsoft Band wearable health tracker.

The pitch is simple, and alluring: "Introducing the smart band from Microsoft. Live healthier, be more productive, and stay connected with the people and moments that matter most. Powered by Microsoft Health."Continue reading...

sustainability

Eco-Chic: Lexus, Kering Encourage Young Designers to Think Sustainably

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 30, 2014 10:33 AM

These days, more and more consumers are demanding excellent design that doesn't compromise on environmental integrity as the greening of consumption continues to evolve.

Now two leaders in the luxury realm—French multinational fashion conglomerate Kering and Toyota-owned automaker Lexus—are embracing their ability to act as sustainability advocates with a global platform.

Kering, whose stable of designer brands includes Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane and Stella McCartney, has demonstrated its investment in up-and-coming sustainable fashion stewards through a new partnership with the London College of Fashion. 

Together, the organizations have made a five-year commitment to encourage students to focus on using eco-friendly materials and methods. According to Vogue UK, two students each year whose collections embrace and elevate the ethical side of fashion design will receive an award of £31,500 as well as internships at Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple's Cook Comes Out, Microsoft Band and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 30, 2014 09:12 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he's "proud to be gay" in Bloomberg Businessweek public coming out essay following LGBT rights speech (above) as his company looks to sell iPhone in Iran while CurrentC, rival mobile-payment system to Apple Pay, is hacked.

Microsoft unveils Microsoft Band fitness wearable as it finishes round of previously announced layoffs.

Burger King clears antitrust hurdle with Tim Hortons deal.

Kohl's launches badly needed makeover and details Thanksgiving opening plan.

SodaStream shifts toward carbonated water and plans to close controversial West Bank factory.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

LeBron James Homecoming is a Slam Dunkin' Donuts for Brand Partners

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 29, 2014 05:21 PM

The return of LeBron James to Cleveland is being trumpeted as "the biggest sports homecoming of this generation" and "the hottest ticket" in the NBA—and has been heralded by the plethora of brands he endorses, including Beats by Dre and Sprite, too.

While some find the story of the two-time NBA champ returning to northern Ohio to bring some victories to his home state uplifting (a new baby girl just sweetening the saga), some critics think the narrative has been driven home one too many times. Fans, however, seem to be on the uplifting end of that spectrum—along with his brand partners.

According to new research from social analytics firm 4C, King James' Ohio comeback has resulted in “huge increases in social engagement between LeBron, the brands he endorses and the Cleveland Cavaliers.”

Led by Dunkin' Donuts, brands have seen the pay-off for signing endorsement deals, with big spikes in social engagement since the superstar made his announcement he's returning to Ohio in July.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's Not Confirmin' Lovin' Beats Hatin' Tagline—or Any Super Bowl Ad

Posted by Dale Buss on October 29, 2014 03:57 PM

For Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, McDonald's is reportedly leaving its "I'm Lovin' It" tagline on the sidelines as it spotlights a new slogan with a similar ring but a very current vibe: "Lovin' Beats Hatin'," as the Wall Street Journal reported based on sources.

If the proverbial "people familar with the matter" are correct, the slogan is intended "to spread happiness in the face of internet hate" but won't replace its long-running slogan, its first global ad campaign (created by DDB), that launched in Sept. 2003. Long a target by activists, McDonald's U.S. is now in the midst of a transparency campaign ("Our food. Your questions.") that aims to debunk the notion that it uses pink slime and other such materials to make its products.

But haters are going to hate, and it only takes a quick glance at its Facebook page to see the kind of comments that keep its social media team responding 24/7—and which explain why McDonald's execs might feel it must address the "haters" on social media to the tune of $4.5 million (the reported cost of a 30-second spot in the 2015 Super Bowl) and put its tagline on the line in so doing.Continue reading...

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