Best Global Green Brands 2014

branded content

IKEA: A Brand That Knows How to Connect with Content

Posted by Tori Miner on July 24, 2014 05:06 PM

At its core, the IKEA brand is all about experience. From showrooms to social media, the brand conveys a deep understanding of how people live and a commitment to helping them better their everyday life. Ever the retail innovator, IKEA brings its creativity to life through original content and branded experiences designed to build stronger connections with their consumers around the world.

Its flagship content effort is available online today—its iconic catalog. The 2015 catalog is available in 32 languages, 67 printed editions, and 46 countries and territories, and its most sustainable publication to date. According to a press release, it's the largest print production ever to be printed on 100 percent FSC-certified paper, "from forest to printer."

With the theme of “Where the Everyday Begins and Ends,” the 2015 catalog app for iOS and Android devices includes extended content such as shareable DIY videos, 360° views of entire rooms, and a “Place in Your Room” feature where users can select from over 300 IKEA products and virtually place them in their own homes.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Branded Content Watch: Uber, Pizza Hut, The Rock and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 18, 2014 01:34 PM

Uber Operating With Max Promotional Operationality: Uber isn't just about free ice cream. It was only a few weeks ago we mentioned its tie-in with Transformers 4 to put Uber users in the rig better known as Optimus Prime. Now, poster child for the disruption movement, Uber has arranged a similar partnership with he new video game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Pegged to E3, Uber users in Los Angeles could find themselves getting a ride share in a 17,000-pound, 6.7-liter turbo diesel, military-grade Cyclone armored personnel carrier. What's next for Uber? Fast and Furious 7? The new Mad Max: Fury Road? Cars 3? The possibilities seems endless.Continue reading...


Toyota Sienna #SwaggerWagon Returns for Brand's First Online Reveal

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 17, 2014 11:11 AM

Remember the hipster parents in Toyota's 2010 Sienna "Swagger Wagon" campaign? The tagline is back as a hashtag to promote the 2015 Sienna with a new crop of families with social swagger (and "absurd parent moments") in Toyota's first online reveal of a new vehicle—check it out below.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Branded Content Watch: Hate On Spirit, Gillette Shaves, BMW Sails and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 11, 2014 04:55 PM

DI-Cry: Chilean home improvement brand Sodimac punches you in the heart with its emotional ad about a dad and his daughter. But if after 10 seconds you feel your cold, cynical heart taking over again, we've got something perfect for you below.

Haterz 'Gonna Advertise: Give Spirit Air some credit for carrying around their brand's cajones in a dump truck. The airline's new campaign—found at—encourages exasperated travelers to "unleash the hate" on social media about Spirit Airlines. (The sub-text: "Or maybe you’re one of our fans—feel free to share some love, too.")Continue reading...


Chinese Brands Sour on Transformers Product Placement Pay-Off

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 8, 2014 05:05 PM

"We had a deal. You got what you wanted!" exclaims the bad guy halfway through the global blockbuster that is Transformers: Age of Extinction. In reply, the bad guy's former partner points to an even nastier alien and retorts, "No, I got what it wanted!"

That scene might feel a little close to home for some of the Chinese brands that giddily partnered with the film's producers for product placement deals only to be disappointed in what has become the highest-grossing movie in China's box office history. Now, those brands are speaking out about being let down. A couple are even threatening lawsuits.Continue reading...

brands with a cause

CSR-Building Opportunities Abound with the Changing Face of Philanthropy

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 8, 2014 10:39 AM

Philanthropy is being redefined with the rising tides of digital media, allowing the pursuit of greater CSR initiatives and creation of more conscious companies like Participant Media, created in 2004 by eBay co-founder Jeffrey S. Skoll, as an activist entertainment company that produces movies with a message.

Lincoln, and encouraging civic engagement and antifracking film, Promised Land, are two examples of Participant-backed films. To deduce the best way to reach audiences and motivate them to participate, Participant is collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Knight Foundation and the USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

To that end, the team has developed the Participant Index, similar to Nielsen TV ratings, that compiles raw audience numbers for issue-driven media and delivers an online survey for up to 350 viewers per project with questions about emotional response and level of engagement. 

On a scale of 100, for instance, The Square, a documentary on political upheaval in Egypt, scored 97 out of 100 for emotional involvement, but only an 87 for provoking action, for a combined average of 92. However, "Farmed and Dangerous," Chipotle’s web series about industrial agriculture, reached 99 on the action scale and 94 for emotion for an average of 97—thus interpreted as having higher impact than The Square.Continue reading...


Jerry Seinfeld Aces Product Placement (Not That There's Anything Wrong With That)

Posted by Sarah McLaughlin on July 1, 2014 11:38 AM

A few years ago, I was a writer on a very girly TV show for a very girly network when I was presented with an interesting challenge. The girly network had struck an ad sales deal with a tire company for a product placement of said tire company during a scene in the show.

Tire company. Girly show. These two things traditionally did not go together, at least not organically, which is what we quickly found out when we attempted to come up with a scene that would accomplish both goals: Jam in the tire brand and stay true to the voice of the series and characters. Sounds simple, like “hey just write a scene about changing a flat tire,” but that wasn’t going to work because the tire company didn't want to show that their tires had failed. We didn’t want to lose the integrity of the show or make it feel forced. And that is where we—and the tire placement—fell flat.  

Product placement, or what is now called brand integration or “native advertising,” seems to be everywhere. According to PQ Media, advertisers spent $8.25 billion on product placement in 2012, and the market is expected to nearly double in the next five years. Clearly, it must work.

These days it’s hard to tell the difference between where a TV show ends and brand integration begins. Broadcast network TV shows like American Idol, Modern Family and America’s Got Talent shoehorn in inorganic advertisements into scenes and performances. In 2011, American Idol alone had over 500 product placements in one season. You couldn’t miss the giant red Coca-Cola bell-shaped cups the size of an Olympic swimming pool sitting in front of the judges. Makes one long for the days when Russell Brand appeared on the FOX-owned Idol to promote his FOX film Arthur with an awkward interchange with contestants.

So who does it well? Not surprising, it’s a familiar face who loves brands, thinking about brands, observing brands: Jerry Seinfeld.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Branded Content Watch: Newcastle, Oreo, Dell and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 30, 2014 01:07 PM

The Special (Drunk) Relationship: There is a lot to consider in an alternative history that examines what would have happened if the British won the Revolutionary War. But Newcastle is only interested in one detail: What beer would America be drinking? (Hint: Newcastle.)

In the spot, Ricky Gervais-collaborator Stephen Merchant examines what could have been for the British brown ale across a Newcastle microsite reading...

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