2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Frank Comes Back for Jack, Coors Gets Digital and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 28, 2014 06:43 PM

Let's Get Digital: Molson Coors Deploys LCD Beer Cases

In a partnership with Groupe Viva, a digital retail innovation firm, Molson Coors has unveiled new beer refrigerators that have a transparent LCD display that serves up digital advertising based on what consumers are seeking. 

"As specialists in digital innovations, our objective is to combine the latest advances in technology and digital content and make them accessible to retail chains and major brands,” said Pierre Gendron, CEO of Groupe Viva, in a press release.

Looking for a way to differentiate its products, the interactive fridges will be trialed in 40 stores and 10 bars and nightclubs in the Montreal area. The partnership follows another digital stunt by the company, which deployed Molson Canadian-branded refrigerators around the world (and at the Sochi Olympics) that only opened after scanning a Canadian passport.Continue reading...

retail watch

With Lawsuits Piling Up, Target Takes Another Blow as Canada Fails to Catch On

Posted by Dale Buss on February 25, 2014 01:57 PM

There may finally be a silver lining to Target's continuing woes with its huge data breach late last year: The problems have managed to divert attention from another huge challenge to the chain as its massive invasion of the Canadian market is faltering.

Instead of reaching profitability by the end of last year, as Target had predicted, its multibillion-dollar expansion into Canada via 124 stores and growing produced a loss of $800 million to $900 million for 2013, noted the New York Times.

"The data breach seems to have come at a good time for them as they would have been answering questions" about the failure to get traction in Canada, Rob Wilson, a retail analyst at Tiburon Research Group, told the newspaper. "I've never seen a set of expectations that are so shockingly missed on a rollout."Continue reading...

retail watch

Under New Owners, Saks Will Expand in Both Directions to Appeal to Wider Retail Audience

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 3, 2014 11:22 AM

Following the closure of its $2.4 billion acquisition by Canada's Hudson Bay Co., high-end retailer Saks has set out to shake things up across its swath of luxury department stores and outlets. 

Richard Baker, the CEO of Hudson's Bay Company, told the Wall Street Journal that he wants to bring tonier goods to his Saks stores, like $48,000 Louis Vuitton handbags and $2,000 Christian Louboutin sneakers while mussing up its Saks Off 5th outlets to better appeal to bargain shoppers. 

"Our outlet stores look too much like department stores," Baker said. "Nordstrom Rack is a mess, and customers love it."

Baker’s retail empire, valued at $6.7 billion, also includes Lord & Taylor, Canada's Hudson's Bay department stores and Home Outfitters. There are currently 71 Off 5th stores in the US, a number Baker wants to more than double with 20 outlet stores on the drawing board for Canada.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

RBC Unveils Facebook-Enabled Mobile Payments at Canada's Ad Week

Posted by Alexandra Meyer on January 31, 2014 06:39 PM

The Royal Bank of Canada, the largest financial institution in the nation, is expanding its mobile commerce solutions with the ability to send Interac E-transfers through Facebook. 

During Canada's FFWD Advertising and Marketing Week’s panel on winning in a mobile-first world, Jeremy Bornstein, Head of Emerging Payments for RBC, announced the launch of Interac E-transfers through Facebook Canada's messenger. The launch signals RBC’s commitment to fulfilling its mission of becoming "Canada’s most innovative bank."

The feature initially launched on the company's iPad app in Dec. 2013 and is now accessible through its iPhone app, as well. According to Bornstein, one third of RBC bankers perform banking transactions exclusively though mobile.Continue reading...

license to thrill

Rogers Continues NHL Spending Spree with Deal for Arena Naming Rights

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 4, 2013 05:41 PM

Rogers Communications just agreed to spend $4.93 billion over the next 12 years to broadcast the NHL in Canada. Now the company has announced that it is going to pay up to put its name atop the home of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, according to the Associated Press. The deal will reportedly last for a decade.

With this deal, Rogers burnishes its spot as Canada’s biggest corporate name in sports. It already has naming-rights deals with the Toronto Blue Jays, which it also owns, and the Vancouver Canucks as well as with the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts. The Oilers arena bearing the Rogers name won’t open until 2016 and Rogers executive vice-president John Boynton promises that it will be on technology’s cutting edge, the Edmonton Journal reports. Fans might even to be able to order “food and drink from the seats.”Continue reading...

retail watch

Much Like US, Canadian, UK Retailers Don't Need Thanksgiving to Push Black Friday Deals

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2013 03:52 PM

America has successfully exported its Black Friday retail frenzy the UK and Canada, despite the fact that neither celebrates Thanksgiving. Apple, Amazon, and Asda (owned by Walmart) are offering their US Black Friday deals to UK consumers at 20 percent off this weekend, while native retailers like Debenhams, John Lewis and Selfridges are getting in on the Black Friday action with what they call "Christmas comes early" sales.

"This shows how online is driving the retail agenda. Apple and Amazon offer deals in the US and they don't want their UK customers to feel cheated," Donald Shields, multichannel strategy director at SapientNitro, explained to Ad Age. "This has obviously come from online—there's no Thanksgiving and no Friday off to go out shopping—but it's picking up momentum in stores as well, and translating into a physical retail event."

With online spending in the UK expected to jump 20 percent to $8 billion between now and Christmas, according to Deloitte, retailers are happy to adopt another US concept: Cyber Monday. 

But Kevin Gill, managing creative director of Start JG, thinks the shopping events lose a little luster outside the US, where they just seem like another sale. "It seems a little bit cynical to plug into a US event when we don't have the event that precedes it—are they going to import Thanksgiving next?" he told Ad Age. "It's a more natural extension for U.S. retailers like Amazon and Apple, but Debenhams feels a bit of a stretch. If retailers embraced it and did something special it might work, but just offering 20 percent off is a bit shallow."Continue reading...

retail watch

Target Sees Headaches in Canada, Creates Headaches with New Website

Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 26, 2013 02:52 PM

Most of the buzz around Target has been positive in recent years. The value-based retailer has always managed to rise above the ordinary, combining modest prices with a chic image engendering a fierce loyalty that cut across demographic lines. Chances are the bigwigs at Target smiled benevolently when consumers and the media referred to the brand as "Tar-jay" in an effort to highlight its designer-focused trendiness.

Well even a star can get tarnished—and right about now, Target is looking quite a bit less shiny than usual.

Take Target's stumble in Canada. When the chain made a big splash in the Canadian market earlier this year, the payoff for Canadian consumers who anticipated the chain's arrival was less than expected. Target seemingly did the right kinds of things, like partnering with Canadian brand Roots and Canadian entertainer Michael Buble, but the retailer's opening was beset by product shortages. What's more, while prices were competitive with other retailers operating in Canada, Target couldn't match the lower prices it set in the US—reinforcing the perception that Canadians would have to cross the border to save money in a Target store.

And if pricier duds weren't enough of a buzz-kill, a recent survey found that , "Some customers likened Canada's version to 'Target Lite,' with lackluster prices and an atmosphere that, despite renovations, still had the feel of the Zellers outlets that occupied the same spaces for years before."Continue reading...

brand trainwrecks

Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Drags Brands Through the Mud with Him

Posted by Dale Buss on November 14, 2013 03:03 PM

Supporters of embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford appropriated the Ford Motor Co. logo to back their man. But the keeper of the Blue Oval had a better idea.

Ford, the company, said that it will protect its script and oval logo from use by backers of Ford, the admitted drug-buying, crack-using, publicly drunk politician. "Ford did not grant permission for use of its logo" on "Ford Nation" t-shirts that were worn at a United Way charity event in Toronto this week, said company spokesman Jay Cooney, according to the Toronto Star. "We view it as an unauthorized use of our trademark and have asked it to be stopped." The t-shirts were sold after Rob Ford bobbleheads sold out. 

Ford got this very same logo out of hock last year after using it as collateral to help borrow $23.4 billion in 2006 that helped the company weather the global financial crisis and Great Recession without having to resort to bailouts by US and Canadian taxpayers as General Motors and Chrysler did.Continue reading...

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