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celebrity brandcasting

High Stakes: Willie Nelson Puts Name on Marijuana Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 27, 2015 10:02 AM

Willie Nelson has long been known as a cannabis connoiseeur. Now the country music legend is ready to monetize that love with his own line of marijuana and dispensaries known as Willie’s Reserve.

Consumers will be able to buy other strains of pot there, too, but Willie’s Reserve will be the one getting the most PR love certainly. 

“It will be like when you walk into a Whole Foods store,” Michael Bowman, Nelson's spokesman for Willie’s Reserve and a veteran of the pot legalization wars, told the Daily Beast, which broke the story.

“Whole Foods has their 365 brand, or you can buy Stony Brook, or you can buy Horizon… It’ll all fall under that umbrella of ‘here’s our core beliefs, and here’s our mission statement,’ and they will be a part of that, to be a part of us.”Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Branded Entertainment: 'Tis the Season for Holiday Schmaltz—and Music Videos

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 5, 2014 12:03 PM

The Project: "One Love" by Ben & Jerry's and Bob Marley (Dec. 4)

The Plot: Music video featuring fans singing Marley's iconic tune in aid of the Bob Marley 1Love Foundation. The videos were collected by Ben & Jerry's UK, whose Marley-inspired Satisfy My Bowl ice cream flavor is raising money (but not in America) to create a new youth empowerment camp for underserved children in Jamaica.

The Verdict: Jah, man—because giving is the reason for the season. Below, more fresh branded entertainment, starting with Nick Offerman for Lagavulin whiskey.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Starbucks Goes Premium and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 5, 2014 09:32 AM


Starbucks unveils high-end roastery concept and mobile ordering.

Cadillac whacks Detroit ad agency, projects half-million global sales by 2020.

Uber teams with Johnnie Walker on UK holiday safety campaign, and snags $41 billion valuation.

Coca-Cola pulls controversial ads for Fairlife milk and launches anniversary nail color line with OPI.

Gap CMO Seth Farbman is stepping down for an advisory role.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Bob Marley Family Hopes for First Global Marijuana Brand with Marley Natural

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 18, 2014 11:39 AM

Bob Marley died 33 years ago at the age of 36, but his brand remains extremely strong and it isn’t just because his tunes still echo down the hallways of freshman dorms across America. It is about to get stronger as the Marley family is tying his name to a product that he’s already inextricably linked: marijuana.

Marley Natural promaimsses to be the first global marijuana brand and will be a partnership between the Marley family and Seattle’s Privateer Holdings, an investment firm that finances pot-related businesses, the Seattle Times reports. It will be headquartered in New York City, which just changed its marijuana-possession rules aren’t so draconian and has a mayor that admits to smoked pot.

Marley Natural will, of course, keep its namesake front and center in its marketing, promising to sell “heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains inspired by those Bob Marley enjoyed,” according to a press release.

NBC News also reports that Marley Natural will also be selling "pot-infused creams [and] accessories (like vaporizers in the style of e-cigarettes)"—and just as the Oxford English Dictionary named "vape" its word of the year.Continue reading...

Hyundai Says "Don't Worry" with Bob Marley and Free Connected-Car Package

Posted by Dale Buss on May 17, 2013 10:38 AM

Much of the ascension of the Hyundai brand in the US market has been about hand-holding, ranging from its trailblazing 100,000-mile warranty introduced several years ago to the groundbreaking Hyundai Assurance program in 2009 that promised Hyundai buyers that the company would pick up their car-loan payments if they lost their jobs.

So it's not surprising that Hyundai's newest brand-wide play is a program called Assurance Connected Car, which provides a free platform of safety and maintenance services across its lineup of vehicles that come equipped with its Blue Link telematics system. In advertising, the brand has tapped the musical legacy of Bob Marley and his song, "Three Little Birds," to remind Hyundai customers that they "don't need to worry about a thing" if they have the system.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: JCPenney, McDonald's, Disney and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2013 09:03 AM

In the News

JCPenney cuts an additional 2,200 jobs and delays stocking Martha Stewart products as judge suggests mediation with Macy's.

McDonald's U.S. sales slip, but less than anticipated.

Disney welcomes new movie-studio chief and big plans for Star Wars franchise.

Adidas is hot on heels of Nike in sportswear in China.

Amazon logs rising revenue from servicing cloud's server needs.

Arby's targets "modern day traditionalists."

Cablevision claims coercion led to deal with Viacom.

Caribou Coffee launches new branding campaign.

Citi passes stress tests.Continue reading...


Macy’s Introduces Marilyn Monroe Collection to a Racier Generation

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 6, 2013 07:07 PM

Marilyn Monroe died back in 1962 with eight milligrams of chloral hydrate and 4.5 milligrams of Nembutal floating around in her system. The 36-year-old former foster child’s death was listed as a “probable suicide” by the L.A. County coroner.

While Monroe’s final years weren’t her best, she had already seared her image onto the collective American culture with her work in such classic films as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven-Year Itch and Some Like It Hot, not to mention her sultry birthday serenade to President John F. Kennedy, who also happens to be the last person she called on the phone.

Like Monroe’s original name of Norma Jean Baker, most folks have pretty much forgotten about Monroe’s bad times and her image has become a symbol of sex and glamour. That’s been a lucky gift for Anna Strasburg, the wife of deceased father of method acting Lee Strasburg, the recipient of all Monroe's worldly goods.

Strasberg spent years taking various entities to court so she would clearly have the rights to Monroe’s image when it comes to commercial items. She cashed in and sold the rights to Jamie Salter’s Authentic Brands Group LLC and media company Neca LLC, according to Bloomberg. Salter, meanwhile, is already raking in cash every time any Bob Marley-related item causes a cash register to ring.

Don’t worry about the septuagenarian Strasberg. She stayed on as a minority partner in the company that planned to sell Monroe-branded makeup, lingerie and other products. The latest deal for the company has Macy’s launching a new line of Monroe-inspired clothing on March 15th, following the opening of the first Marilyn Monroe cafe (in Oakville, Canada) in November.Continue reading...

sip on this

Big Chill: Marley's Mellow Mood Seeks to Dominate in Relaxation Drink Sector

Posted by Dale Buss on February 8, 2013 12:20 PM

Since entrepreneurs launched the "relaxation" beverage category several years ago, brands with catchy names like Vacation in a Bottle and Drank have mostly gone nowhere, at least in terms of the volume of sales that some expected. Beverage Digest has called the sector "one of the more conspicuous underperformers," with Americans seemingly less eager to kick back with such brews than they are to power up with energy drinks.

But now one relaxation player, Marley Beverage, believes that it can leverage the visage of reggae icon Bob Marley and an official association with his family to consolidate a huge chunk of the segment — and maybe even re-energize this type of functional beverage overall.

Marley sold two million cases of its ready-to-drink Marley's Mellow Mood sodas and teas last year, and Kevin McClafferty, president of the Southfield, Mich.-based brand, told brandchannel that he expects Marley to double that volume in 2013. In addition to other expansion plans, a new deal to distribute Marley's Mellow Mood in more than 2,000 Walmart stores nationwide will be key to fulfilling that goal.Continue reading...

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