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cause marketing

Actually, TOMS Would Prefer Not to Focus on the Family

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 11, 2011 07:00 PM

On Friday, July 8th, blog Jezebel wondered "Why Is TOMS Partnering With An Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Group?"

In the piece, Jezebel takes Toms to task for its partnership with the far right social policy group Focus on the Family.

It was a harsh slap to progressive fans of TOMS, the digitally-savvy brand that "changed the game of social activism" with a "one for one" business model, donating a pair of shoes (and now, glasses) for every purchase.

Jezebel wrote, "TOMS is at major risk of alienating a constituency that has enthusiastically adopted their product, including yours truly."

A day later, July 9th, a TOMS spokesperson told Jezebel it regretted the move, pointing to an explanation posted on the brand's Facebook page and blog.

Except, nobody appears to have told Focus on the Family.Continue reading...

media meltdown

Gawker Traffic Takes a Nosedive, But How Badly?

Posted by Abe Sauer on April 20, 2011 04:00 PM

If the charts (above) that The Atlantic published online today are to be believed, then what we're seeing regarding Gawker's move to a new platform is the Laser Disk moment of online publishing.

Back in February, we chronicled the rage against the redesign by Gawker's readers, whose negative reaction would appear to be supported by the grim chart above. Denton, of course, begs to differ. Continue reading...

media brands

Reality Debris: How Gawker Media and MTV Leveraged an Unnecessary Charity Drive For PR and Profit

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 13, 2011 10:30 AM

Last October, Gawker Media site Jezebel (tagline: "Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women") launched a college scholarship drive for two stars of a reality TV series on MTV. Originally part of the show 16 and Pregnant, they had given up their baby for adoption and MTV continued to follow them on the spin-off series, Teen Mom.

Of the fund-raiser, Jezebel stated, "Catelynn and Tyler have won us over, exhibiting strength and maturity in the face of hardship, and they've expressed a desire to continue their schooling. So we've decided to help them raise some cash for their college education." The drive produced thousands of dollars in donations from the site's readers.

But a recent court case involving another of the Teen Mom stars resulted in the disclosure of MTV pay rates for the cast, in turn making Jezebel's charitable fund-raiser look more like a giant grift, with Gawker Media, MTV and the teens all winning out. It's a fascinating case study in transparency for brands and their pro-social efforts.Continue reading...

media brands

Web 101: Deadspin, Gawker and the Traffic-Goosing Art of Story Torture

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 12, 2010 02:00 PM

Last night, future Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Brett Favre threw his 500th touchdown. The next closest quarterback is in the low 400s. He threw that touchdown against a team for which he played one year in 2008. Yet, the news surrounding Favre was all about a sports blog's accusations that Favre engaged in sexual harassment while on the New York Jets team. These accusations from Gawker Media's Deadspin blog against the legendary NFL icon raised an interesting questions about legacy and reputation... specifically, Deadspin's.Continue reading...

media brands

Iconoclash: Jezebel in the Spotlight

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 13, 2010 01:00 PM

When your brand is build on being provocative and something of an iconoclast, you're going to go after other brands, including other iconoclasts. Which is what Jon Stewart's The Daily Show and Jezebel are doing.

Gawker's post-feminist blog recently accused Comedy Central's The Daily Show of being sexist by not featuring more women. Stewart swiped back on-air (see the 2:05 mark here) while his female staffers responded with a mocking note posted on the show's website.

It's all great for business as far as Gawker Media owner Nick Denton is concerned.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: It's Fun to Stay at The Y (Not MCA)

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 12, 2010 09:00 AM

In sad news for the Village People, the YMCA follows KFC, NPR and AARP in formally adopting its acronym and shedding three letters to become just the Y. Individual branches will still be known as "The YMCA of ____." (Update: Village People respond, more details here.)

BP shares rise on news it's making progress on oil spill containment but not making promises — and that it's rumored to be in talks to sell assets to Apache, and facing a possible ExxonMobil takeover bid. Louisiana is pitching BP on a scheme to get unemployed commercial fishermen back on the job.

Spain's octopus-predicted triumph over the Netherlands in the World Cup final drew Nelson Mandela to the closing ceremony while Uruguay's Diego Forlan won the Adidas Golden Ball (not the unpopular Jabulani) for individual achievement. A likely terrorist attack in Uganda killing at least 60 World Cup fans marred yesterday's celebrations.Continue reading...

tech fail

Pepsi's iPhone App Offering Dating Advice To Men Causes Controversy

Posted by Stephanie Startz on October 14, 2009 04:31 PM

With sponsored iPhone apps flooding the marketplace, a brand needs make a big splash to stand out. Enter PepsiCo's "Amp Up Before You Score" iPhone app, released on Friday.

Proving that there's no such thing as bad publicity, the app has created a firestorm of controversy -- even if it's really just a tempest in an iPhone. The male-targeted application offers dating and "pick up" advice guaranteed to assist in "scoring" with members of the opposite sex.

The hetero-normative app allows men to choose from 24 "types" of women, ranging from "athlete" to "cougar" to "trouble," with pick-up lines, background information and restaurant listings for "suitors" to take their potential "conquests." You get the picture.Continue reading...

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