brand trainwrecks

Nestlé Mexico Reneges Offensive Tweet, Weathers Withering Criticism

Posted by Catherine Straut on November 11, 2014 05:28 PM

Nestlé’s week has not gotten off to a good start. The food giant has faced a firestorm after a tweet from @CrunchMX, the Mexican Twitter account for Nestlé's Crunch candy bar, made a shockingly crude pun about the 43 missing trainee teachers that have allegedly been slaughtered in southwest Mexico.

The tweet, which said that the students who disappeared from Iguala were "crunched," was deleted quickly after it was published just after midnight on Sunday, the Washington Post reports—but not fast enough for it to go unnoticed. As the ensuing outcry increased, the company issued a series of apologies via Twitter that continues still. Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Skittles Masters Beast Mode Branding with Marshawn Lynch

Posted by Rami Levi on September 2, 2014 03:03 PM

Call it a modern day miracle, but a candy brand has firmly associated itself with athleticism. The beautiful branded partnership between Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and the Mars-owned Skittles continued today with the release of a hilariously branded “training video.” 

The video features the Seahawks star pushing through a rigorous training session with the help of his sugary friends. In light of the astronomical bidding war between Nike and Under Armour over the coveted feet of Kevin Durant, the video demonstrates the power a partnership born organically from genuine mutual interest between endorser and brand.

The love affair between Skittles and Lynch, aka Beast Mode, has been well-documented. After a few seasons of free publicity—TV broadcasts often catch Lynch snacking on Skittles during games—Skittles signed Lynch to a deal just before Super Bowl 48. Immediately following the signing, Skittles implemented a fairly standard sponsorship strategy with the launch of a limited edition Seattle Mix and donating to Lynch’s foundation during the Super Bowl.

But Skittles, known for its eccentric mastery of social media content, is just beginning to explore the creative possibilities of a “beast mode brand.”Continue reading...

game change

Crest Adds Chocolate to Toothpaste as Cocoa Products, Prices Soar

Posted by Dale Buss on January 28, 2014 11:57 AM

Now that chocolate ranks as a health food (some dark varieties, at least) and not just a marker of a junky snack, brands from Crest to Cadbury are looking for ways to extend its reach in unusual new ways.

P&G, for instance, just announced a new line of Crest toothpaste with new flavors including Mint Chocolate Trek that is meant to shake up the moribund dental-care market and appeal to what CFO Jon Moeller called "experiential" users who always want something new.

The new flavors—part of a new "Be" line that also includes Lime Spearmint Zest and Vanilla Mint Spark—are a departure from the mint and cinnamon that are prominently featured among the 51 (yes, 51) variations of Crest already on shelves.

"It's a whole new world of deliciousness for toothbrushes everywhere," Crest said. But are consumers ready to "Be" "Anything But Boring" as the new tagline promises?Continue reading...

brand strategy

Hershey's Lancaster Caramels May be New to the US, but China Tasted Them First

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 11, 2013 02:56 PM

In a turn of the tides and a sure sign of the future, Hershey in June launched its first international-only confectionary brand—Lancaster. The condensed-milk—or caramel—candy was the first product that Hershey ever launched exclusively overseas—but not for long. The company has confirmed that it will be introducing the line of soft caramels to the US market, making it the first new candy brand from Hershey in the US in 30 years.

The soft crèmes, which will be available in caramel, vanilla and caramel, and vanilla and raspberry, are actually named for the original company that was founded by Milton Hershey more than 120 years ago—Lancaster Caramel Company.

According to the International Business Times, this is the first time that Hershey has launched a product internationally before doing so domestically—a move that speaks directly to the company's current growth strategy as it aims to increase sales by 50 percent to $10 billion annually by 2017.Continue reading...

afternoon snack

Mars Takes a Cue from Rival Hershey with Unwrapped Snacks

Posted by Dale Buss on July 1, 2013 04:58 PM

Mars candies, including Snickers and Milky Way are now available in unwrapped minis, a move propelled by the lazy snacking habits of today's younger generations—and the strategies of Mars' biggest competitor, Hershey. 

Mars has begun earnestly copying the strategy of its archrival Hershey by introducing bite-size versions of its iconic candy bars in unwrapped forms and then throwing a bunch of them in a resealable pouch. The format has proven very popular for Hershey treats such as Kit Kat, Rolo's and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups over the last two years, so Mars has begun to roll out its own version, with Milky Way Bites debuting in May and Snickers Bites this week.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Hershey's Counts On Global Sweet Tooth To Bolster Five-Year Plan

Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2013 01:18 PM

Given that it mainly peddles sugar and calorie-laden products deemed junk food and held dubious by everyone from the mayor of New York to the family pediatrician, how does the Hershey Company plan to nearly double its global revenues over the next five years?

Well, Hershey plans to leverage strategic innovation, global expansion, "impulsivity" and something called "hand-to-mouth platforms" to become a $10 billion company by 2017 (after posting revenues of $6.6 billion last year) despite the increasing encroachments of better-for-you products and nutritional cautions in the U.S. and other key markets.

"Our plan builds off the insights-driven, consumer-centric business approach we built in 2008 but takes it to the next level," Michele Buck, senior vice president and growth officer of Hershey, said at a recent analyst confab in New York, according to Food Business News. The strategy relies largely on global expansion of core brands: Hershey's, Reese's, the Kisses brand, Jolly Rancher's and Ice Breakers as well as "selectively build[ing] out our portfolio in other on-trend segments."

Continue reading...

brand vs. brand

Them's The Breaks: Cadbury Loses Kit Kat Kase

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 4, 2013 01:03 PM

Candy and chocolate generally bring happiness to most folks, but they also are keeping a few law firms working overtime.

The latest ruling finds Nestle winning a case that Cadbury had brought against it to try and stop the trademarking of the shape of its Kit Kat bars. Cadbury had taken offense at Nestlé’s 2006 trademarking of Kit Kat as “four trapezoidal bars aligned on a rectangular base.”

After all, as notes, Cadbury has its own similar chocolate bar, the Crispello, which has a “creamy centre, wrapped in a delicate crispy shell, covered with a delicious layer of Cadbury chocolate.”

But sorry, Cadbury. This time, you lose. Cadbury’s legal team will just have to remember how sweet it felt to beat Nestle recently in a battle over the color purple.Continue reading...


Peeps on Earth: Not Just for Easter Any More

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 22, 2012 11:55 AM

The folks that make Peeps, those little marshmallow-chick candies found nesting in Easter baskets each year, have tried to market their product to fit other holidays such as Christmas (snowman and Christmas tree Peeps!), Valentine’s Day (heart Peeps!), and Halloween (Guys: there are pumpkin, ghost, and cat Peeps!) Nice try, Peeps, but the enduring image of the candy is still poking out of Easter baskets, no matter what Just Born seems to do. After all, 700 million of the sugar-beeked things are sold around that time of year.  

Undeterred, Peeps is soldiering on and making another effort this year to break the wall down and market itself as a year-round sweet treat. The brand's holiday 2012 collection includes a new Peeps on Earth line of T-shirts, infant clothing, and water bottles, according to a press release.Continue reading...

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