branded entertainment

Kotex Stakes Out 'Generation Know' With Vampire Web Series

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 18, 2014 01:01 PM

Vampires and menstruation have a long history in pop culture. The original Dracula tale has been interpreted as a commentary on female menstruation and some historians have put the two together going all the way back to ancient Greece. More recently, despite its G-rated version of vampirism, the Twilight saga has raised questions about Bella's periods and even inspired fan fiction on the topic.

But while the subject piques the interest of a curious fanbase, it might seems like dangerous ground for commercial interests. Not so, says one feminine products brand that has been so successful in hitching itself to vampires that it's doubling down on the genre.

The brand is Kimberly-Clark's U by Kotex and the vampires in question are found in the Canadian web series Carmilla, which it sponsors—and just renewed—on the VervegirlTV YouTube channel. Continue reading...

mobile brands

BlackBerry Classic: Will Going Back to Basics—and QWERTY—Boost Brand?

Posted by Catherine Straut on December 17, 2014 05:02 PM

BlackBerry Classic 2014 reveal

Today, BlackBerry officially unveiled the new BlackBerry Classic at a press event in New York.

The release isn't intended to be a nostalgic pitch for the brand's early adopters, or just "a QWERTY throwback." Canada's once-leading mobile brand is seeking another hit by refreshing the phone that launched its brand worldwide.

According to the brand's official blog, the device responds to current customers' demand for a “familiar design” that merges the “security and speed” of the BlackBerry10 platform, which launched in early 2013.

"The conversation about BlackBerry has changed in the last year," CEO John Chen said as he launched the Classic at Manhattan's Cipriani restaurant. "We are here to stay, there is no question about that. Now we have to engineer our growth."Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Knit Together: How Brands Build Charitable Campaigns That Connect

Posted by Amanda Caswell on December 10, 2014 04:55 PM

Target TOMS

“One for you, one for me,” has long been a motto for holiday shoppers, but more and more, brands are making it easier for consumers to give gifts that are “one for you, and one for you too.” There’s been a telling trend shift from the traditional model of “a portion of your sale will support Charity X” towards more tangible expressions of charity. Brands are responding to consumers’ preference to start doing more for the world through the brands they choose by offering products that donate physical items that make a difference.

This year, retail giant Target partnered with TOMS to give back for the holiday season. With the co-branded “One for One, For All” campaign, every purchase made from their limited-edition Target + TOMS collection donates a blanket, meal or pair of shoes to someone in need.

The collection, which includes apparel for women, men and kids, plus home accessories, is tagged with the specific items associated with your purchase. For example, buying a women’s poncho “gives one blanket to those in need.”Continue reading...

sporting brands

Scotiabank Goes for the Goal with CONCACAF Soccer Sponsorship

Posted by Catherine Straut on December 9, 2014 05:37 PM

Today, Bank of Nova Scotia announced its new role as the official bank and partner of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), the governing body of soccer in North America and the Caribbean.

As part of its new four-year deal, Scotiabank will become the title sponsor of the Gold Cup, the championship for national teams from the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.Continue reading...

retail

Best Buy Exits China in Move to Focus on North American Business

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 4, 2014 02:05 PM

Running a major business in China from the U.S. has become increasingly challenging—and Best Buy has decided to fold its cards there by selling off the 184 locations of its Five Star corporation to a domestic real-estate firm.

Best Buy already pulled out of the UK in 2012, and this latest move away from being a global brand reiterates the company's focus on making its North American business, including its operations in Canada and Mexico, the strongest it can be.

From the looks of its performance on Black Friday, Best Buy has some work to do in this department: Its website crashed twice on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.Continue reading...

tech innovation

Manulife RED: A Financial Services Brand Explores Wearable Tech—and the Future

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 2, 2014 03:12 PM

A hot topic in the financial services space is "fintech"—how banks, insurance companies and other finance sector brands can become innovation leaders (and pave the way for future profitability) by investing in their own technology from apps to wearables.

Despite conferences, seminars and all the interest in mobile payments, virtual payments and wearable payments, the majority of financial companies have yet to extend themselves into exploring technology beyond their own networks and IT systems.

That's not the case with Canadian insurance and financial services firm Manulife, which also owns John Hancock in the U.S. and has operations in Asia. The firm is building its digital cred both internally and externally—including to potential employees and partners—by revving up its new RED Lab.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Shomi the Money: 5 Questions for SVOD Content Wrangler Marni Shulman

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 28, 2014 11:14 AM

shomi, the Canadian streaming video-on-demand service that launched this month, aims to slow growth of Netflix Canada with binge-worthy hits such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black

To do so, shomi is programming and leveraging U.S. content like those hit shows—and other titles including The Blacklist, 2 Broke Girls, Two and a Half Men, DaVinci's Demons, American Horror Story, Sons of Anarchy, Wilfred, Modern Family and Sleepy Hollow—to attract and build a loyal audience.

The subscription video on demand (SVOD) brand's backers—Canadian cable giants Shaw Media and Rogers Media—are dipping into a $100 million war chest to license in-demand titles from Disney/ABC, CBS, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Starz Digital Media and BBC Worldwide.Continue reading...

retail

Nike Opens First Store for Women as Lululemon Readies First Men's Store

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 20, 2014 05:05 PM

Nike today opened its first women's-only store—in Newport Beach, Calif.—a week ahead of lululemon athletica opening its first men's-only store—on the opposite coast, in New York—on Black Friday.

The move makes sense given that Nike expects its women's business to grow to $7 billion annually by 2017, from about $5 billion currently.

Its second women’s-only store will follow quickly, opening on Nov. 29—not in the U.S. but in Shanghai, China, the only women's stores it has announced so far.Continue reading...

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