Has Ford's Focus Doug Spokespuppet Jumped the Shark?

Posted by Dale Buss on September 21, 2011 04:09 PM

In the short life of Doug the sock puppet, the orange mascot for the Focus that Ford introduced in March, that automaker has had him engage in all sorts of fantasy scenes — because, after all, Doug is an orange puppet. In watching the online-only video campaign so far, viewers who already have suspended their disbelief, because they're watching a smart-alecky orange puppet, are even further willing to suspend their disbelief as Doug variously saves a life, schmoozes with human females, and takes over a Ford "press conference."

Now, however — and rather ironically — it's a turn to a sort of realism that may be indicating the Doug campaign is running out of steam.Continue reading...


From Russia With “ё”: ONEXIM Unveils First Cyrillic Hybrid

Posted by Jennifer Sokolowski on November 12, 2010 11:00 AM

A foreign name in a global market can basically read one of three ways: It can be alluring and draw people in; sometimes it can be culturally problematic or even offensive; and then, there are names that make the whole world scratch its collected head.

The ONEXIM group of Russia hopes it has allure on its side in this name: “ё.”

ONEXIM this week unveiled a new car in the Russian market with the single-letter Cyrillic moniker. For those with limited knowledge of the Cyrillic alphabet, the letter ё is pronounced in English as “yo” (YO!). (Although we might suggest referring to the car as “the vёhicle formerly known as Prince.”)

The ё is the first hybrid manufactured in Russia. It looks almost as good as Olga Kurlyenko  in its two-tone package, and is slated to sell for $10,000. The cool styling, the groundbreaking greenery of introducing hybrids to the Russian carmaking scene, and the price point are all sexy and cool. The hope is that the name will align with that trendsetting positioning.Continue reading...

start your engines

Mag Wheels: Auto Ads Vroom Back

Posted by Dale Buss on October 14, 2010 03:00 PM

One of the hardest-hit industries during this current recession: the magazine business. Many magazine brands suffered even more than their old-media cousins, newspapers.
And one of the main reasons was that another battered business, the U.S. auto industry, slashed the national advertising that used to sustain many magazines.

Well, happy days are here again for many magazine publishers — or at least better days than the last two years — because car companies are coming back to the fold, so to speak. Automotive advertising pages and related revenue both shot up by 40% during the third quarter, leading to a 3.6% gain in overall magazine ad pages during the period.

That development illustrates the fact that, seemingly against all odds, the auto business has emerged as one of the few relative bright spots as the U.S. economy struggles to recover. Overall auto sales should be about 10% ahead of a year ago, giving automakers emerging confidence to advertise more.Continue reading...

brands that go bang

Gunmaker Finds Magic Bullet In "Cash For Clunkers"

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 14, 2009 10:59 AM

When wary consumers rushed out to take advantage of the Cash for Clunkers program, non-automotive brands took note. Now one brand is trying to capitalize with its own cash for clunkers program.

Sig Sauer, the American extension of Swiss-German gun manufacturer Swiss Arms AG, has launched a cash for gun clunkers program which, from now until December, will pay $200 to anyone trading in an old gun for a new Sig Sauer model. Like the auto version, the Swiss Arms AG program sets limits for what defines a clunker: guns must be  "free from cracks in frame or other key components… must be a semi-auto pistol 9mm or larger, or revolver of .38 caliber or larger.”Continue reading...

brand news

Headline Roundup: Fear Fades Edition

Posted by Stephanie Startz on September 11, 2009 09:53 AM

The dark future predicted after 9/11 did not come to pass. [NYT]

Hersheys considers a counterbid for Cadbury as shares fall in Kraft. [Times of London
Motorola debuts a new Android smartphone -- the Cliq in the US and the Dext elsewhere -- seeking to reposition the brand from "a voice centric company to... a mobile internet, data driven company" designed to compete with Apple's iPhone. [FT
Analysis of Obama's strategy to reframe his health care reform plans. [Washington Post]
GM issues a 60-day money-back guarantee to ease consumers anxiety. [CNN
Japan's Suntory and Asahi Breweries have reportedly placed a €2.6bn ($3.8bn) bid before the private equity owners of Orangina, Blackstone and Lion Capital.  [FT]

(More headlines: Environmental Defense Fund, Faberge, Rhapsody, Al Gore) Continue reading...

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