2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

viral buzz

Watch Sydney Mardi Gras GAYTMs Disperse Cash, Rainbows

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 5, 2014 01:42 PM

It's not an ATM. It's a GAYTM! To celebrate Sydney Mardi Gras, the annual (and largest of its kind) LGBTIQ pride parade, national bank ANZ converted a number of its bland ATMS around the city to flashy "GAYTMs."

Get it!? As the principal sponsor of the gay pride event (an impressive feat for such a staid industry like banking), ANZ's GAYTMs disperse both cash and life-affirming messages. Receipts are, of course, rainbow-colored. Even Star Trek actor and gay activist George Takei took notice.

See a video of the GAYTM in action after the jump.Continue reading...

corporate responsibility

Target, Neiman Marcus Invest in Payments Tech as Retailers, Banks Point Fingers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 5, 2014 12:57 PM

The hits just keep coming for Target. The retailer's massive security breach over the Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping holidays affected some 110 million shoppers, and it was just revealed that the breach actually took place over a longer amount of time—3 days longer—than the company originally thought

Target CFO John Mulligan revealed this information yesterday in hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee that are exploring options to better safe-guard consumers' personal information.

The malicious software stole credit and debit card data from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15 and was subsequently found on 25 additional checkout systems that continued to collect shoppers' information for three days after Target's initial scrub of its POS system. 

The PR nightmare wasn't reserved for Target, though, as luxury retailer Neiman Marcus disclosed in early January that over 1 million customers had their payment data breached, and that the hack had been in effect since as early as July in some stores, creating more hostility towards the brand for seemingly withholding such information from consumers for months.

"The public notification is always vague," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein. "You really don't know, and then you find out kind of brutally in other ways" like the media.Continue reading...

rising brands

Bitcoin Gets Its Game On as Bankers Grapple with Growing Popularity

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 9, 2014 11:47 AM

What does it take for a virtual currency that exists as software, is not controlled by any country or banking authority (and still eschewed by many), to hit mainstream adoption? Gaming.

Zynga recently announced it is testing Bitcoin payment in seven of its games, causing prices to surge to $1,000 on the Mt. Gox exchange.  

Zynga published the announcement exclusively on Reddit, saying, “We wanted to share with the r/bitcoin community that Zynga Inc. is now conducting a Bitcoin test with BitPay, a leading Bitcoin service provider, in select Zynga.com web games." The Bitcoin test is only available to Zynga users playing FarmVille 2, CastleVille, ChefVille, CoasterVille, Hidden Chronicles, Hidden Shadows and CityVille.

Created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, Bitcoin crossed the $1,000 threshold in November, but plummeted to $640 as China stopped accepting deposits, disturbed by its sweeping popularity and reports of money laundering. But since then, merchants accepting Bitcoins for a wide range of purchases from Gummi bears to smartphones have boosted its value.Continue reading...

branding together

Financial Brands Continue Love Affair With Sports Sponsorships

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 11, 2013 02:18 PM

Financial services brands and sports go hand in hand (case in point: the Barclays Premier League). So it comes as no surprise that according to the most recent Sponsorium report, which tracks sponsorship and community investment dollars across the globe, financial companies this year have seen an average of “9% higher requested amounts for philanthropic donations than non-Financial industry brands” — and that the majority of those sponsorship requests are for sports.

According to the report, the “Financial industry’s sponsorship activity is focused primarily in Sports,” which makes up 52% of the sponsorship dollars the Financial industry spends. Arts came in second when it came to the industry’s sponsorship dollars, making that category “roughly 30% more popular than their global average for all industries.” When it comes to donations between $10,000 and $500,000, banks and other “financial brands are both asked for and are making larger-sized donations/grants than brands from other industries.”Continue reading...

media brands

Does the Bloomberg Terminal Scandal Undermine the Bloomberg News Brand?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 13, 2013 10:55 AM

Reports broke late last week alleging that Bloomberg reporters were using the Bloomberg terminal to track (some might say stalk) employees at its financial services clients such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, all the way up to high-profile individuals such as Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner — even, apparently, the new company's namesake founder, Michael Bloomberg. 

Following a company-wide email on Friday and a Buzzfeed report that this ability was disclosed by a Bloomberg TV reporter two years ago, Bloomberg L.P. CEO Dan Doctoroff acknowledged in a story published by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday that the a firewall should have prevented its journalists from accessing such user data long "earlier":Continue reading...

campaigns

TD Bank's U.S. Promise: No Ropes, No Pens - Just Humans Helping Humans

Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 2, 2013 01:01 PM

Banking has become more consumer-friendly, particularly through sophisticated ATMs and mobile banking applications, but banks are still hampered by the stereotype that they are largely impersonal. TD Bank's new branding campaign, "Bank Human Again," makes the most of that deficiency.

New TV and web spots, supported by newspaper and digital media including a microsite, show a variety of consumers in what appears to be a cold, gray unwelcoming bank. Each consumer attempts a simple action only to be thwarted by a robotic-sounding voice that spouts bank policy.

In one spot, for example, a customer finds that the chain on the bank's pen is too short for him to write. When he asks about it, a disembodie voice says, "Here's the thing, Martin, banks can't have people taking their pens." TD Bank's answer: plenty of pens with no chains. Not to mention no rope lines, free coin-counting, and a focus on the little things that add up to the big things in customer service.

While a chained pen may seem insignificant, it's a remnant of banks' traditional (inflexible, impersonal) way of doing business. "The new marketing campaign viscerally communicates TD's attributes of unparalleled service and convenience, and our customer-first culture," stated the bank's Chief Marketing Officer Vinoo Vijay.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Has Square Already Won America's Mobile Payments Race?

Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 15, 2012 12:06 PM

Back in January 2011, Starbucks became the first national retailer to offer its own mobile payment technology combined with a loyalty program. It led to more than 100 million mobile transactions occurring in its U.S. stores since the launch. 

Now, in a move to push mobile commerce even further, Starbucks is accepting payments in some 7,000 retail locations via Square, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's mobile payment app for iOS and Android smartphones. In addition to laying out cash for that latte, users of Square Wallet can browse menu information and store hours, gain access to their transaction history, and even explore nearby businesses. Since Square Wallet is linked to a debit or credit card, there's never a need to reload a balance, and a digital receipt appears instantly.

It's not only been a huge boost for the Square brand (as Dorsey tweeted, "Immensely proud of the teams at Square and Starbucks: 7,000 stores launched 3 months TO THE DAY after signing the deal. #nailedit"). The announcement by Starbucks seems to come at a time of increased activity that could make 2013 the year of mass adoption of mobile payment technology. Indeed, Dorsey this week announced that "Square is now facilitating over $10 billion of commerce annually for small businesses across the US. Up $2 billion in just 2 months."Continue reading...

executive decision

Harvard's Lunch Ladies Called Citibank's New CEO Years Ago

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 16, 2012 11:59 AM

Vikram Pandit shocked Wall Street (Exhibit A: the Wall Street Journal homepage) when he abruptly resigned as CEO of Citibank Tuesday after clashing with the board and prompted his right hand, COO John Havens, to exit with him. Pandit's corner office won't remain empty for long.

Sliding right in following his ouster was Mike Corbat, who had been running Citi’s international operations of Europe, Middle East and Africa for less than a year and was clearly being groomed for the role. The WSJ calls Corbat, a Citi veteran and its former head of investment banking, the company's "Mr. Fix-It," writing that Pandit often used Corbat as a repairman of sorts, and his history at the bank backs up that notion.Continue reading...

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