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...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 29, 2014 02:28 PM
America’s interest in soccer continues to grow, as evidenced by the huge numbers of U.S. TV viewers for this year's FIFA World Cup. Add to that the rapidly growing Hispanic market and influence in America, and it appears that Cheetos may be making a very smart move with the creation of its own soccer team, Los Cheetahs, and tournament.
As part of a new campaign, Los Cheetahs are scheduled to play their "rivals," Los Jefes, in a series of games. The nationwide tour kicks off on Nov. 8 in Long Beach, CA, when Los Cheetahs will play their first game at a custom-built beachfront soccer stadium. After that, the teams will traverse the U.S. to showcase their fancy footwork—and the Cheetos brand, of course.
Los Cheetahs, a name inspired by the brand's Chester Cheetah character, won’t be giving the English Premier League or Major League Soccer any competition, however. This team is basically the Harlem Globetrotters of soccer with a slew of tricksters ready to juggle, trick shot, and get fans cheering throughout the game.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2014 05:01 PM
All sorts of brands related to cars—and some that aren't—have tried public service campaigns and branded content to highlight the dangers of driving, especially while intoxicated or distracted, to the teenaged motorists who are most vulnerable to fatal mistakes.
Now, Michelin has come up with "Beyond the Driving Test," a campaign for National Teen Driver Safety Week this week with the hashtag #safedrivers to make new and young drivers more aware of potential safety hazards that are less directly the result of negligence or distraction but which can be just as deadly.
To make that message resonate, the tire brand is harnessing some of the biggest teen influencers on YouTube to share clever videos that shed light on problems such as poorly maintained tires.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 21, 2014 03:24 PM
For a short period back in 2012, the world could not escape Jeremy Lin. His brand equity, near the bottom of the heap when the year started, shot up within a few short games as one of the New York Knicks to be equal with Kobe Bryant’s. His mere existence (and the public’s insistence on seeing him) was enough to help settle a massive contract dispute between Time Warner Cable and MSG Network, and there was only one word to describe what has happening: Linsanity.
But that kind of nuttiness couldn’t be maintained. The Harvard grad knew that even then. Now the 26-year-old California native is on the same squad with Bryant and aiming to help the Los Angeles Lakers rise to power again by bringing a steady, workmanlike presence to the team.
That attitude spills over into his new ad for adidas China, “Employee of the Year,” in which he plays a modest, unassuming store employee. Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 20, 2014 01:27 PM
Basketball fans in Cleveland were so irate four years ago when LeBron James decided to leave the Cavaliers and join the Miami Heat that some took to the streets and burnt his jersey. But now, after winning two NBA titles, he’s back and they are ready to give him anything he may need.
No matter how great James was in his first run with the Cavs, he had a hard time attracting quality players to join a team that had a long history of losing. Now the Cavs are the city’s best hope to break a 50-year title drought. The NFL’s Browns took the top spot in the NFL in ’64.
But LeBron is back, baby, and one brand that is jumping onboard is Beats by Dre. In a new video campaign from the Apple-owned brand, James goes back to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, where he sees plenty of “Welcome Back” signs. Fans, meanwhile, get to see the shirtless James working out, sweating hard, and listening to tunes on his Beats. "Don't ever forget where you came from," James says.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 17, 2014 02:25 PM
As brand ambassadors go, supermodel Elle Macpherson has been identified with lingerie for years—25, in fact, working with New Zealand manufacturer Bendon to develop an eponymous line that has been available worldwide in a reported $150 million deal.
Now the 50-year-old and Bendon are parting ways, with another blonde model taking over as the face of its lingerie line: Heidi Klum, who has helped keep herself in the spotlight by hosting Project Runway since its debut in 2004.
As a result, Elle Macpherson Intimates will become Heidi Klum Intimates in January, but Macpherson will keep the naming rights to her three underwear labels, while Bendon keeps the rights to all of the designs.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 15, 2014 04:54 PM
Taylor Swift and Diet Coke lately have been going in opposite directions—the country-pop songstress ever-rising, of course, and Diet Coke struggling with a mature market and consumer concerns about artificial sweeteners.
But in the next phase of Swift's new partnership to try to help Diet Coke make an upward turn along with her, she is seen in a new TV spot called "Kittens." It adds an irresistible tiny-animal presence to Swift's continuing, magnetic star appeal—and stars her real Scottish Fold pets, recently insulted by British comedian John Cleese.
In the spot, Swift is sitting on a couch and joyfully imbibing Diet Coke, when she notices a kitten on the coffee table. Another sip, she closes her eyes—and presto! Another kitten. Next sip; well, you get the idea. And by the end of the spot, Swift's living room is something that would merit a neighbor's call to the animal-control authorities.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 15, 2014 02:03 PM
It's the time of year that advertising watchers start putting together the pieces of the Super Bowl TV commercial lineup. And could there be an easier no-brainer than to look for Popchips to advertise in Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona, on February 1? Maybe not.
The CMO of the ambitious popped-snack-chips line—the one featuring "all the taste, half the fat" of fried chips—told brandchannel not to count on the challenger brand to crash Frito-Lay's Super Bowl party next year despite the alignment of a number of interesting factors that might suggest Popchips would do so:Continue reading...