2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

brand strategy

Investors Unimpressed with Darden's Olive Garden Strategy (or New Logo)

Posted by Dale Buss on March 4, 2014 05:41 PM

Darden Restaurants executives have launched a new logo and menu changes at Olive Garden that, they proclaimed, will lead to a "brand renaissance" for the chain as they're rolled out.

But activist investors Barington Capital Group says: Don't bother. They believe Darden should be selling Olive Garden as well as the Red Lobster chain that both they and the company agree should be separated. It feels that Darden should fully focus on its specialty unit that includes rising chains Capital Grille, LongHorn Steakhouse and Yard House to help overcome financial doldrums for the company that have continued for several years.

Darden CEO Clarence Otis made the case to investors this week that he and his executive team can revive a slumping Olive Garden chain at the same time that they bid adieu to Red Lobster, whose customer base has become increasingly promotion-oriented. Olive Garden will get fresh attention instead of the boot.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Russell Stover, P&G, Nordstrom and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 21, 2014 09:12 AM

In the News

Russell Stover Candies up for sale, price may top $1 billion.

P&G announces major restructuring of marketing, including beauty-division makeover.

Nordstrom sees sales slide continue at its stores.

Amazon launches video ads with Geico, plans set-top box and woos high-profile retailers.

BJ's Restaurants launches mobile ordering and payment.

Banana Republic ads feature real-life unions including a gay couple.

Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich turns 50.

Chobani and other marketers escape LGBT-related backlash for Sochi advertising.

Coca-Cola has "mediocre Pepsi on its heels," Nelson Peltz says.

Darden Restaurants expands into airports.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: McDonald's, Rovio, Goodyear and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2014 09:22 AM

In the News

McDonald's brings in outsider as new CMO and ends "challenging year" with flat quarterly earnings, as it comes under tax scrutiny in France.

Rovio wants to be a bigger brand than Coca-Cola.

Goodyear and workers end fight in France.

AOL buys firm that personalizes web searches.

Arby's promotes variety with new ad strategy and calls new Smokehouse Brisket sandwich its most successful new product.

Boeing adds workers to boost Dreamliner production.

Kenny Chesney sues over unauthorized merchandise. 

Chili's introduces Fresh Mex menu.

Coach reports weak North American sales.

Darden defends Red Lobster spinoff plan amid investor resistance.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: T-Mobile, Samsung, Macy's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 9, 2014 09:25 AM

In the News

T-Mobile caps turnaround with customer expansion as it covers termination fees for new users.

Samsung wants to be world's biggest appliance maker by 2015.

Macy's closing stores, cutting jobs to cut costs.

Barnes & Noble new chief must tackle Nook woes.

Chuck E. Cheese parent explores sale of chain.

Constellation Brands expects big things from new Corona Light on tap.

Darden focuses more on digital and less on TV.

Delta adds outlets, bigger overhead bins in 225 planes.

Denny's makes first move into Middle East.

Diageo and Sean Combs team up in tequila.

E*Trade system is zapped by power outage.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Land Rover, Target and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 23, 2013 09:08 AM

In the News

Apple strikes deal with China Mobile, opening door to world's biggest market.

Land Rover faces big to-do list for new US head.

Target offers 10 percent apology discount this weekend but says there are few reports of fraud from massive consumer-data breach, though its store traffic fell.

Bangladesh garment-factory owners are charged in Tazreen fire that killed 112.

Bitcoin runs into avoidance by banks.

Boeing gives union another chance to vote on new concessionary contract.

Cracker Barrel reverses field and decides to sell Duck Dynasty merchandise again.

Daimler considers building another plant in North America.

Darden faces pressure from another activist shareholder.

Fiat resumes talks with UAW about Chrysler stake.Continue reading...

chew on this

Darden Hopes Less Becomes More By Jettisoning Red Lobster Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on December 19, 2013 01:45 PM

The restaurant business remains tough, and so it didn't take long for Darden to say "uncle" to an activist investor who believed that the best path for the owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains was to spin them off into a separate company while clustering its faster-growing startup concepts in another.

Darden met Barington Capital Group halfway on Thursday by declaring that it will jettison Red Lobster and take other steps. It'll hold a tax-free spinoff of the seafood brand to shareholders or it might sell Red Lobster in a move aimed at boosting lagging shareholder value and profitability.

"As consumer demand dynamics have changed, Red Lobster's priorities and operating support requirements have come to differ meaningfully from those of Darden's other brands," the company said.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Target, Whole Foods, Chipotle and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 19, 2013 09:18 AM

In the News

Target hit by credit card breach of as many as 40 million customers that started on Black Friday.

Whole Foods stops selling Chobani in favor of non-GMO yogurts.

Chipotle joins fast-casual pizza race.

A&E suspends patriarch Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty over anti-gay remarks.

Allstate launches new online game to help avoid holiday mayhem.

AstraZeneca buys out Bristol-Myers Squibb in diabetes joint-venture.

Bayer buys cancer-drug partner Algeta for $2.9 billion.

Boeing loses out to Saab in providing fighter jets for Brazil and taps likely CEO successor.

Chevrolet sees a top US marketer leave.

Christie's finalizes appraisal of Detroit Institute of Arts collection.

Daimler gets stake in Aston Martin with engine supply deal.

Darden spins out Red Lobster amid shareholder pressure.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: JCPenney, KFC, H&M and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2013 09:22 AM

In the News

JCPenney undoes more of Ron Johnson's handiwork with logo revamp.

KFC preps quality-assurance campaign in China.

H&M, Gap back in the spotlight after another Bangladesh factory fire kills several workers. 

A&E Networks pitches original programming.

Aereo Android app will debut Oct. 22.

Alcatel-Lucent must revise job-cut plans in France.

Apple reportedly slashes iPhone 5c production.

AT&T and GE partner for wireless global network.

BlackBerry warms to breakup exit strategy as brand expands office closures.

Chevrolet revs up major ad push for Malibu.Continue reading...

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