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brand evolution

Build-A-Bear Goes Digital: CMO Gina Collins on Engaging "Beyond the Plush"

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 20, 2015 02:16 PM

Ever since Gina Collins joined Build-A-Bear Workshop as CMO last year from Coca-Cola, her mission has remained the same: Maintain the brand’s core promise and move it into the digital age. 

The first Build-A-Bear store opened in 1997, and today there are over 400 stores worldwide—and more than 125 million furry friends travelling around the globe.

Build-A-Bear continues to focus on creative play, and each child selects a heart as they build their friends. A retail makeover program will start refreshing its stores, while it experimented with a pop-up in New York City's Times Square and temporary boutiques at Macy's and other retailers this past holiday season. On the digital side, the seven-year-old Bearville.com is shutting down with users being sent to buildabear.com/play instead.

Licensed toys continue to be a hit. Appealing to collectors of all ages, the company’s co-branded products include a Disney Princess line (with a limited edition $80 Cinderella Bear tied to the live action movie), a just-launched Easter collection and products inspired by Disney’s Frozen and Marvel characters in addition to Hasbro’s My Little Pony property. (Coming up: a collection tied to Disney's December release of JJ Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII.)

brandchannel spoke with Collins about how Build-A-Bear is evolving to address today’s—and tomorrow's—customers.Continue reading...

bc q&a

MasterCard’s Priceless Surprises Celebrates Its Own First Birthday

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 12, 2015 02:08 PM

After one full year, Priceless Surprises from MasterCard continues to spread joy and delight to unsuspecting cardholders in 25 countries.

By simply using their MasterCard, cardholders are eligible for digital song downloads, instant seat upgrades at events, and meetings with world-class entertainers and athletes. Priceless Surprises is also integrated with MasterCard’s sponsorships of The GRAMMYs, The BRIT Awards, UEFA Champions League, Major League Baseball, PGA TOUR and Rugby World Cup.

brandchannel spoke with MasterCard CMO Raja Rajamannar about the campaign and its success in creating a marketing initiative that makes delightful experiences a year-long value-add for the brand.Continue reading...

chew on this

Kraft Sweeps Out CMO in Shakeup to Battle Big CPG 'Indigestion'

Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2015 04:50 PM

The woes of big CPG food marketers may cause indigestion, but for Kraft CMO Deanie Elsner, the company's problems led to a much bigger malady: displacement.

Elsner is leaving the company, which split from what is now Mondelez in 2012, as part of a management overhaul that was announced this week (along with its latest quarterly earnings report) by new CEO John Cahill.

For its fourth quarter, Kraft reported a disappointing net loss of $398 million on a one-time charge, even as its revenue rose by 2.2 percent.

This same financial struggle—described by the Wall Street Journal as "indigestion" for the giants—is also being faced across the CPG industry by other companies, including Kellogg, Campbell Soup, ConAgra Foods and Mondelez itself.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Home's Best Friend: 5 Questions with Coldwell Banker CMO Sean Blankenship

Posted by Dale Buss on February 11, 2015 09:30 AM

As Super Bowl advertising has proven, TV viewers are drawn to ads featuring dogs—especially cute, little puppies. Fully aware of this trend, Coldwell Banker Real Estate will be showcasing man's best friends during the 87th Academy Awards broadcast on ABC on Sunday, February 22.

The brand's spots that will be unveiled during the Oscars will feature rescue dogs welcoming their "pet parents" home. At the same time, the brand will announce its first-ever "Homes for Dogs Project" to find families for 20,000 adoptable dogs, in partnership with Adopt-a-Pet.com.

Besides helping out the pooches, Coldwell Banker's goal is to make emotional connections with American home-owners and buyers, to differentiate itself from rivals that concentrate on the nuts and bolts of the home-buying process.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Aflac Hits the GRAMMYs Red Carpet: Five Questions with CMO Michael Zuna

Posted by Dale Buss on February 8, 2015 07:35 PM

Aflac Duck Grammy Awards 2015

Aflac likes to keep Americans on their toes about what the disability-insurance brand might do next, and now the brand is continuing its mold-breaking ways with its biggest and most integrated marketing effort to date.

The campaign, which includes activations at the 2015 GRAMMY Awards and the Daytona 500 auto race, is built around a new Aflac benefit called One Day Pay, which allows the company to receive, process, approve and disburse payment to policy-holders for eligible claims within just one business day.

It's "our way of saying that no matter what gets in your way, trips you up or slows you down, getting claims processed and paid won't be one of them," said Dan Amos, CEO, in a press release. The campaign thus emphasizes speed and efficiency in a tangible way around viewing live events such as the GRAMMYs or the Daytona 500.Continue reading...

super bowl

Super Bowl's Halftime Hypemaster: 5 Questions with Pepsi CMO Simon Lowden

Posted by Dale Buss on January 30, 2015 05:02 PM

Pepsi's highly anticipated Super Bowl return on Sunday, with its third consecutive sponsorship of the halftime show starring Katy Perry (and a cameo by Lenny Kravitz—and not to mention Perry's toes), could be a Big Game-changer for the brand.

In fact, the halftime extravaganza is only one piece of Pepsi's ongoing Super Bowl #HypedforHalftime campaign, which also includes comedian Craig Robinson and country singer Blake Shelton.

Meanwhile, a Pepsi logo-shaped crop circle (a hint of out-of-this-world desert sightings in its Big Game commercial) has appeared near the University of Phoenix Stadium, where SB49 will be played on Sunday.Continue reading...

bc q&a

The Sundance Kid: 5 Questions with Chobani CMO Peter McGuinness

Posted by Dale Buss on January 29, 2015 02:31 PM

Chobani Sundance Film Festival cafe

Chobani is busy these days. It's launching innovative products targeting new and existing consumers and eating occasions, including the first Greek yogurt pouches aimed at kids, and new flavors of its Greek Yogurt Oats blend line and Flip Creations mix-in products.

The long-time Greek-market leader is also turning to new marketing platforms and initiatives. It won't be running an ad in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, even though Chobani made its debut in Big Game commercials last year, opposite Dannon's Oikos brand—which also dropped out of Super Bowl advertising this time around after a two-year run.Continue reading...

super bowl

5 Questions: Frito-Lay CMO Ram Krishnan on Crash the Super Bowl 2015

Posted by Dale Buss on January 28, 2015 04:04 PM

Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Trouble in the Back Seat 2015

It's late January, meaning it's almost time for the big event on February 1. That would be the reveal of the winner of the 2015 Doritos Crash the Super Bowl ad contest.

True, there will be a football game played that day and telecast on NBC. But Frito-Lay's nine-year-old crowdsourced annual commercials for its popular chip brand have become such a cultural fixture that they'd probably fare pretty well on their own, without the backdrop of the Super Bowl and football and all that other stuff.

Of course, the game and its viewership are required to justify the approximately $4.5 million per 30 seconds that Frito-Lay will pay to air the two winning ads. Doritos already has selected 10 finalists and posted online the shortlist from the amateurs' submitted ideas—nearly 50,000 this year.

Fans can vote for their favorites until midnight tonight, with the popular winner and another selected by the Doritos team getting the air time.Continue reading...

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