doors of perception

Little Caesars Bakes Up Plans for New Headquarters In Detroit

Posted by Dale Buss on December 11, 2014 03:06 PM

On the day that the city of Detroit climbed out of bankruptcy, one of the city's biggest backers gave Motown yet another vote of confidence. On Dec. 10, Little Caesars founder and CEO Mike Ilitch announced that his company, one of America's major pizza brands, would be building a brand-new, 205,000-square-foot, eight-story world headquarters on iconic Woodward Avenue in the entertainment district of downtown Detroit.

In fact, the new Little Caesars Global Resource Center will become Detroit's first newly constructed corporate headquarters building in more than a decade—and only the seventh since 1950.

The announcement was a welcome bit of news for Detroiters who have been gnashing their teeth in recent weeks over the news that Cadillac is leaving town to set up a new administrative and marketing headquarters in New York City. Cadillac also broke up with its Detroit-based ad agency, Lowe Campbell Ewald, whose offices are in the Ford Field complex and within hailing distance from where Little Caesars new headquarters will be.Continue reading...


Cadillac CMO Takes On Detroit Critics In Charting New York Path for Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on December 10, 2014 11:01 AM

Cadillac grill logo

Coming up on his first anniversary as chief marketing officer for Cadillac, Uwe Ellinghaus has faced some big challenges in his first year.

The latest is that self-described Cadillac purists and defenders of Detroit are taking offense at some of his comments about the brand, its future direction and the reasons Cadillac's brain trust is departing Motown for New York City's tony Soho neighborhood.

Ellinghaus fought through a lot to get even to this point. While sales for the make were sliding this year, GM management was distracted by its recall scandal, and Cadillac was essentially without an overall chief until the company poached Johan de Nysschen from Infiniti last summer.Continue reading...


Gleaming with Pride, New Chrysler 200 Makes Grand Entrance for Revived Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on June 6, 2014 10:31 AM

The Chrysler brand has to sell a lot of vehicles in order to make CEO Sergio Marchionne’s goal of more than doubling last year’s sales, to 800,000, by 2018. That’s why the ongoing launch of the completely revised Chrysler 200 sedan is so crucial to the brand and to th new Fiat Chrysler Automotive.

The import of the 200 is why Chrysler on Saturday is launching a completely different kind of advertising campaign than the brand has employed over the last four years. The new "Born Makers" ads will finally leave in the dust the “Imported From Detroit” positioning and gritty tie-ins with Motown that the brand debuted three years ago with help from Detroit-native Eminem at the Super Bowl.

“It’s the first step of what you’ll see happening over the next three to five years—the kind of innovation and technology that we’re very committed to,” Marissa Hunter, global director of brand advertising for Chrysler Group, told brandchannel.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

JPMorgan Chase Creates 100 Million Reasons to Believe in Detroit’s Future

Posted by Dale Buss on May 21, 2014 04:03 PM

While the City of Detroit deals with its bankruptcy and State of Michigan taxpayers fund its bootstrap efforts, outside partners continue to rally around the troubled Motor City brand in the belief that all it has now is a lot of upside.

The latest is JPMorgan Chase, which announced today that it is committing $100 million over five years to economic-development projects in Detroit. CEO Jamie Dimon himself was in the city to announce the investment and Chase’s new “community partnership” with Detroit.

While altruism was in the air, clearly Chase also wants to continue to make good on the fact that it’s the No. 1 banking brand in Michigan in terms of deposit market share, with 19 percent compared with second-place Comerica Bank’s 15 percent. Chase picked up that big chunk of the state’s market mostly in 2004 when it merged with Bank One, which had merged with National Bank of Detroit in 1995.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan and other local dignitaries attended Dimon’s announcement, which included pledges totaling $50 million in a couple of Detroit-based development non-profits and $25 million more on programs for workforce training and entrepreneurial investments.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Burberry, GM, Target and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 21, 2014 09:02 AM


Brands to Watch

Burberry posts record results as Christopher Bailey settles in as CEO with Japanese expansion, digital efficiency and e-commerce tests on Amazon and China's Tmall.

eBay reports cyberattack and asks users to change passwords.

GM, still reeling from PR crisis, recalls another 2.4 million cars and restructures legal team.

JPMorgan Chase invests $100M in Detroit, denies it's a PR campaign.

Target quarterly earnings: less dismal than anticipated, though profits slide.


adidas reveals collection with Rita Ora.

Campbell's Soup lowers 2014 outlook.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Adobe, Google Glass, Sony and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 14, 2014 09:15 AM


Brands to Watch

Adobe’s marketing cloud goes real-time with app store and celebrates 25th anniversary of Illustrator.

Amazon tops America’s Most Reputable Companies list.

Google Glass is now available to anyone in the U.S. (with $1500) as Samsung reportedly readies Galaxy Gear glasses.

Sony reports $1.3 billion quarterly loss amid restructuring costs.

Yahoo buys Snapchat rival Blink with plans to shut it down.


ABC brings programmatic video to U.S. upfront media buyers as TV ad dollars follow younger viewers online.

Adventr, backed by John Legend, enables build-your-own-adventure games.

Airbnb takes on hotels with last-minute bookings and wins New York legal battle.

Apple bows to pressure with splitscreen app move.Continue reading...

detroit auto show

Chrysler Happy to Have Marchionne Stick Around—and to Launch 'Flagship' 200

Posted by Dale Buss on January 13, 2014 04:48 PM

Chrysler got at least two things today that augur well for 2014: a robust new version of its Chrysler 200 sedan, and an indication that its charismatic CEO, Sergio Marchionne, will stick around for a while.

Through Fiat Chairman Jon Elkann, Marchionne has indicated that he'll stay at least three years with the combined Fiat-Chrysler after serving as the master architect of the company as it has been cobbled together so far after the 2009 bailout. Marchionne's vision and charisma are widely credited as key factors in Chrysler's ability to come back even as Fiat continues to be hampered by the European market.

And while Chrysler has done well with a recently overhauled version of the Ram pickup truck, and with new and revised Jeep models that are faring fine in the SUV segment—with plans for more, according to the Wall Street Journal—it's sedans are where Chrysler so far has fallen short. The 200 and the 300 full-size sedan have been threadbare for a while, and last year's launch of the new Dodge Dart compact hasn't lit the automotive world on fire.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Whole Foods Hesitantly Deploys More Discount Tactics

Posted by Dale Buss on August 22, 2013 02:40 PM

The "new normal" in grocery shopping has presented Whole Foods Markets with a new dilemma: how to tap into the increasingly promotional appetites of its financially stressed target demographic without diluting the exclusivity and cachet of a brand whose nickname has become "Whole Paycheck."

Whole Foods leadership is tackling that challenge carefully, both emulating the discount tactics used by traditional supermarkets at the same time that it does so only selectively, at least for now.

"The recession was a wake-up call for us," Co-CEO Walter Robb told the Wall Street Journal. At the same time, he said, "People are stuck in the past about what Whole Foods is in the marketplace."Continue reading...

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