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red carpet

Hyundai, Diet Coke, Samsung Stage Big Ads for The Oscars

Posted by Dale Buss on February 22, 2013 06:33 PM

Little do the stars know, by the time it comes to Oscars night, the most important performances are on the little screen, not the big one.

During the "Super Bowl of the entertainment industry" on Sunday evening, the ABC telecast of the Oscars, Hyundai and a handful of other advertisers will be leveraging the big stage in big ways for their brands. The prospect of the largest TV audience for the Academy Awards in several years would make achieving their goals easier.

Hyundai, for instance, will be running seven commercials during the telecast—the most of any advertiser—and it has the sole automotive rights to the automotive ad category during the show. Keeping with the show biz theme, it's fitting that Hyundai's voiceover talent is, once again, its longstanding brand voice: Academy Award-winner Jeff Bridges. At a time when Hyundai continues to dimensionalize the brand along both luxury and performance lines, the Oscars are at least as important a forum for the carmaker as for any actor or director.

"We're bullish on the chances for ratings this year, with the combination of films that were critically acclaimed and that also did big box office," Steve Shannon, CMO for Hyundai of America, told brandchannel. "We just like the feel of the Oscars."Continue reading...


Brandcameo: Seth MacFarlane's "Ted" Finds a Friend in Bud

Posted by Andrew Chan on July 2, 2012 12:14 PM

Fans of Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy may be disappointed to find out that the characters from his hit animated FOX series don't show up in Ted, MacFarlane's big screen directorial debut and the new #1 movie at the box office. After all, Ted the foul-mouthed bear busts into their animated game in a bit of cross-marketing synergy.

But there's plenty of promotional love to go around. Some brands are generic, such as the grocery store where Ted tries his paw at a real job; some are inferred, such as the Teddy Ruxpin talking teddy bear that inspired the title character (and was childhood best friend of John Bennett, the social misfit played by Mark Wahlberg), or the Boston car rental agency that employs Wahlberg and his co-worker played by Patrick Warburton is inspired by Enterprise.

The biggest overt product placement, however, is for beer — copious amounts of beer, with Bud Light and Budweiser bottles littering the screen of our dissolute hero and his raunchy plush pal (until Mila Kunis enters the picture). Front Row Marketing Services estimates the value of the product placement on-screen time for Budweiser at $778,325 and Bud Light at $229,670 for Ted's opening weekend.

The movie's Facebook page also puts Bud in a Teddy Bear's Picnic scene, below:

In one cross-promotional deal that straddles in-film product placement and offline marketing, Universal Pictures teamed with Axe for a campaign. In one commercial, Ted takes a date to a fancy restaurant and, er, gets busy under the table. (Watch the NSFW campaign here.)

Another star of the movie is its setting, Boston, where MacFarlane and Wahlberg both grew up. The Ted filmmakers received $9 million in state funds to shoot the film locally, from local landmarks such as Fenway Park to spots that locals only might recognize, as the Boston Globe notes:

The climax at Fenway was just one of the many sequences filmed in key Boston locations. Norah Jones’ concert takes place at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River, home of the Boston Pops’ July 4th extravaganzas; John and Ted get high and run into Donny for the first time at the beautifully manicured Boston Public Garden, home of the famous swan boats; and John tells Ted that Ted has to move out while standing amidst the great tanks in the New England Aquarium.

Ted cajoles Lori to meet John at Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe, also in the Back Bay, just down Columbus Avenue from the site where the Union United Methodist Church, a cornerstone of Boston’s African-American community, also plays a key role. John takes Lori to Sorellina restaurant for their anniversary dinner, and their disastrous double date with Ted and Tami-Lynn blows up at the Gaslight Brasserie. As well, John and Ted wait in a line of costumed fans at the Somerville Theatre for the opening night of Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace.

The Globe notes the cameos by the Boston Red Sox and the Stanley Cup (while doubting that anyone would rush to visit Boston after seeing Ted):

“Ted” accounted for roughly a quarter of the $37.9 million in film credits issued in 2011. A Department of Revenue study last year showed that, as an economic development program, the credits have been a dud, costing $142,000 for every Massachusetts job created. But there’s also a fuzzier argument: Boosters assert, almost as an article of faith, that simply showcasing the Commonwealth in movies like “Grown Ups,” “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” and “Grown Ups 2” has got to be worth something.

"One of the filmmakers’ goals was to find an iconic location to shoot the final moments of the film’s climactic chase sequence through Boston. To their excitement, the Boston Red Sox organization agreed to allow them to film in Fenway Park, the venerable baseball stadium that opened in 1912. However, the giant lighting tower that Ted and Donny climb was reproduced on a stage. During one of the nights lensing at Fenway, the production was graced with the presence of the Stanley Cup, the ice hockey trophy then recently won by the Boston Bruins."

Besides a cameo by Norah Jones, there's an appearance by a childhood hero — Sam J. Jones, the actor who played Flash Gordon — at a party:

Other pop culture references and brands sprinkled throughout the film include "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (whose show Ted appeared on after he became a star); SpongeBob SquarePants; a Tintin comic book; Rolling Stone magazine; Cabbage Patch Kids; and clips from "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" and "Bridget Jones's Diary."

For more on product placement in #1 movies, visit the Brandcameo product placement database.


Seth MacFarlane's Ted the Bear Busts Into Family Guy Online Game

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 20, 2012 11:53 AM

With everybody whipping through commercials on their DVRs, product placement on prime-time television is fairly prevalent these days. As Seth MacFarlane commented to the New York Times this week, we even speak in brands — "On any give day, how many times do you reference a piece of pop culture or a brand name? I bet it’s a lot more often than we think. 'I’m going across the street to Starbucks.' 'I’ll make a Xerox of it.' Our daily lives are packed with proper nouns of the corporate kind."

So it should come as no surprise that MacFarlane is a champion of brand synergy, as he's showing by leveraging his hit Fox animated series Family Guy to promote his big-screen debut as a director. Even though his R-rated movie Ted doesn't hit theaters until June 29, its foul-mouthed star has already found his way into Family Guy Online, a 3D game extension of the hit animated comedy that launched last fall.

After all, the film is directed, cowritten, and partially voiced by MacFarlane so it was a natural fit to cross-promote the film and television show. And given that Ted is cut from the same cloth as Family Guy (although it's a live-action comedy starring a CGI raunchy, talking teddy bear plus Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis) the movie/game crossover promotion was a no-brainer move for MacFarlane and Fox — and a handful of invited brand partners.Continue reading...

social media

Starbucks: Social Media Superstar

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 7, 2010 02:15 PM

A new survey of brands on social media finds Starbucks to be the most popular consumer brand on the social Web, based on an analysis that indexes consumer brands against the most popular personal brand on the planet: Lady Gaga.

UK-based Famecount took a snapshot on June 2nd of brands' followers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to come up with its ranking, a quantitative snapshot with no qualitative look at how brands engage with their fans, followers and subscribers across the social Web.

Starbucks came in #1 among consumer brands by having 7.4 million Facebook fans, 901,925 Twitter followers and 6,509 YouTube subscribers. American brands dominated the top 10, with Red Bull the only non-US brand to make the top 10.Continue reading...

social media

Del Taco Goes Online To Bring Customers In Stores

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 1, 2010 12:20 PM

Mexican QSR chain Del Taco recently launched a Facebook-based entertainment webisode platform, "The Del Taco Super Special Show," and grew its fan base from 20,000+ to 43,000+ in just five weeks according to VP, marketing John Cappasola. And that fanbase grew by another 15 percent since the brand released the second webisode in the series.

Aimed at hungry people with a sense of humor, the tagline is, "Eat it here; watch it online." The campaign ads appear on TV and radio, and offer consumers a coupon for a free Classic Taco redeemable at their next purchase. Del Taco is a major national Mexican quick-serve chain with more than 500 restaurants in 18 states and $568 million in annual revenues.Continue reading...

brand news

Headline Roundup: Critics Choice

Posted by Sara Zucker on February 26, 2010 06:20 AM

Fox sees an overwhelming amount of complaints from recent 'Family Guy' episodes. [LA Times]

SeaWorld face criticism for keeping killer whale despite trainer's death. [AP]

CitySearch stays relevant by adding business-related tweets to its website. [Econsultancy]

General Motors is currently debating two bids on its Hummer brand. [WSJ]

Kraft is touring restaurants spreading the word about its Athenos hummus. [Brandweek]

Hand-held smartphone maker Palm worries about its future due to poor sales. [NY Times]Continue reading...

start your engines

Hummer Brand Has Different Meanings For Owners And Pedestrians

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on November 2, 2009 06:26 PM

Pitying the Hummer owner who must endure gas-price increases is like feeling sorry for the McMansion resident with skyrocketing property taxes. But as Rob Walker notes in the New York Times, gas-guzzler drivers are people, too.

And if you’re one of these people – as Walker cites in a new report by the Journal of Consumer Research that explores “consumer moralism” – you’re probably justifying your Hummer purchase as a (manly) display of your “American exceptionalism, rugged individualism, love of the frontier, community and freedom.” Even if your heaviest cargo is the weekly haul from Costco.Continue reading...


Microsoft Discovers “Family Guy” Is Vulgar, Water Is Wet

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on October 27, 2009 05:29 PM

Microsoft thought it would be a good idea to promote Windows 7 to the kids by sponsoring the upcoming Fox special "Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show," starring “Family Guy” creator Seth McFarlane.

Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the animated hit is aware that its shotgun-comedy strategy is “Who can we offend next?” But as Variety reported, Microsoft executives were taken aback when watching the October 16 taping of the episode that included the planned Windows 7 pitch:

For most of the special, however, MacFarlane and Borstein made typical "Family Guy"-style jokes, including riffs on deaf people, the Holocaust, feminine hygiene and incest.

Such material was apparently a bit much for Microsoft.

Microsoft, which will think twice next time before asking an intern what the cool kids like, decided to abandon its marketing plan, which included promoting the brand throughout the November 8 show so it could run commercial-free.Continue reading...

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