Posted by Abe Sauer on May 17, 2013 01:46 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: VW gets nostalgic... Luxury brands suffer... Starbucks canbalizes itself... Apple "ruins" family life... Translating cat app... Tencent profits... BYD... Let Li... Dutch infant formula... What Taobao can tell you about breast size... McDonald's McCafe absurdity... Face toothpaste... What a poorly made $30 hamburger reveals about China's middle class... and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 30, 2013 09:15 AM
ESPN apologizes for comments by commentator after NBA player announces he's gay.
Honda recalls almost 46,000 Fits in North America.
Chrysler sees profit tumble on poorly executed product launches.
Alibaba and Sina form alliance of China online businesses.
Apple files for new technology that tells whether to text or call friends.
Asos prepares marketing drive to grow global brand.
BP reviews safety after oil leak in North Sea.
Best Buy sells Europe unit back to Carphone Warehouse.
BlackBerry CEO questions future of tablets (which brand doesn't have).Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 19, 2013 06:37 PM
AB InBev Finally Making Deal With US Over Modelo
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, which controls close to 19 percent of the globe’s beer market, has been trying to buy Mexico’s Grupo Modelo SAB, which owns close to 3 percent of the world’s beer market, for months now, only held up by the pesky US government, which thought the merger could mean too much power for AB InBev.
The two sides have been talking since at least February about how a deal might be structured so that everybody gets what they want. And now, just days before the two sides were requested to report to a US District Judge, the word on the street is that they have come to an agreement, Bloomberg.com reports.
In order to have this merger occur, Modelo will have to “sell control of all its brands in the US, as well as a brewery it built in Piedras Negras, Mexico, to Constellation Brands (STZ), a winemaker and drink-distribution company,” Bloomberg reports. As part of the new agreement, InBev “gave up an option to buy back a stake in Crown Imports LLC, the US distributor of Corona and the other Modelo brands.” Crown will end up being owned by Constellation.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 2, 2013 09:07 AM
Amazon sees online retail rivals rise in 4Q and reign as most expensive stock end as company may have smartphone ambitions.
Facebook phone, no longer a rumor, is coming to Android.
Toys 'R' Us pulls planned IPO.
American Airlines settles
fare suit with Orbitz
American Express tests geo-targeted ads in London cabs.
American Greetings decides to go private.
Apple apology by CEO Tim Cook seems to satisfy Chinese authorities.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on March 20, 2013 09:15 AM
American Airlines defends $20-million severance pay to CEO.
Deutsche Bank forced to restate 2012 profits due to U.S. lawsuits.
Google will package and brand chat services as Babble.
T-Mobile readies "Uncarrier" no-contract pricing plan and proposed board structure, while AT&T introduces no-contract wireless phone service and Sprintlaunches de-branded Android smartphones.
7-Eleven sues 7-SEVEN chain for trademark infringement.
Apple brand found to be less "inspiring" than it was three years ago in new consumer survey.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 15, 2013 05:46 PM
It’s been more than 1,500 years since Saint Patrick was laid to rest and could no longer use the shamrock to explain to Christians the idea of the Holy Trinity. Thanks to St. Patrick's Day every March 17th, his legacy inspires millions the world over to consume massive amounts of alcohol and shout “Top of the morning to ya!” to anyone who passes. With such a jovial reputation, you can bet that brands, alcoholic or not, take advantage of the built-in marketing ploy—and not just those participating in Pantone's color of the year for 2013.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2013 06:12 PM
Miller Lite is turning to an old page in its playbook, with a new gang of celebrities designed to boost the flagging brew in a fresh slate of TV commercials served up on another iconic platter for the franchise, "Miller Time." The new go-to guys for Miller Lite include Vince Vaughn, Ken Jeong, Chuck Liddell and Questlove.
But interestingly, Miller brand managers say that their new campaign (watch below) will not seek to trade too heavily on the appeal or persona of any one of its new stable of celebrity pitch people. One ad wonders what it would be like to hang out with actor Jeong, who will star in the upcoming Hangover Part III—but he's self-deprecating in the spot.
"Celebrity is not our strategy," Con Williamson, chief creative officer at Saatchi & Saatchi, the agency behind the campaign, told Ad Age. "Our strategy is solely focused on Miller Time." That, of course, will leave Miller strategically opposed to the growing number of tight tie-ups between beverage brands and individual celebrities, including Justin Timberlake and Bud Light Platinum, Taylor Swift and Diet Coke, and Beyonce and Pepsi.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 4, 2013 12:17 PM
Budweiser, the self-anointed King of Beers and nine of its AB InBev brethren found themselves with a bit of a PR problem last week when press seized on the story of class-action suits being filed in seven states that claimed the brewskis had been knowingly watered down before being sent out for consumption.
The world’s largest brewer denied the charges being made in the suits filed in California, Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas, but clearly wanted to set the record straight for some of its loyal drinkers for fear that they might believe the stories of those who had filed suit—people who had been buying Bud and other InBev products by the caseload every month for years on end.
To combat the claims, AB InBev has turned to both newspaper print ads and Twitter, the Associated Press reports. The Twitter push encompassed the Budweiser-back "Beer Loves You" local Twitter handles (see below), which sent out the a copy of the full-page newspaper ad that ran on Sunday.
That ad, carried in newspapers including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, showed an image of a can of drinking water, representing “one of the 71 million cans of drinking water it has sent to the American Red Cross and other relief organizations in disasters.” Along with that is the text, "They must have tested one of these," the ad says, along with "We take no shortcuts and make no exceptions. Ever."
Two independent tests by St. Louis TV station and NPR have both backed the brewer’s side of the story, a fact that was pushed out onto Twitter by InBev, Ad Age reports. That’s a big switch, the publication notes, for a company that had avoided being on Twitter at all until fairly recently.Continue reading...