brand news

Headline Roundup: Merry Profits

Posted by Stephanie Startz on December 28, 2009 09:03 AM

Will Apple release the iSlate, the tablet computer, in early January? [Telegraph]

Avatar tops the box office in its second week. [WSJ]

Brands sell love first, products second. [NY Times]

IndyMac returns under OneWest, doubling branches. [WSJ]

Awkward timing for a new book by Tiger Woods. [NY Times]

2010 predictions see more brands dissolving. [WSJ]Continue reading...

Yahoo Encourages "Kindness," Internet Usage

Posted by Stephanie Startz on December 10, 2009 10:06 AM

You In? Yahoo wants to know.

This week Yahoo launched, the “You In?” campaign, which asks users to “create a ripple of happiness” by performing a random act of kindness.

Visitors to can update their Yahoo status with charitable acts and encourage friends to participate in the spirit of the holidays. The campaign incorporates Yahoo’s photo sharing property Flickr, where users can upload photos of their generosity. In the spirit of giving back, Yahoo also encourages individuals to donate to Network for Good, Global Giving, and DonorsChoose.Continue reading...

campaign tactics

Gap C-H-E-E-R-S In The Holiday Season With Glee

Posted by Stephanie Startz on November 12, 2009 06:55 PM

Joy to the ads, the recession is still here!

As employment reaches 10% and the holiday season approaches, retailers fear sales will flatline, or at worst, decline. Despite an uptick in October retail figures, analysts continue to predict consumer hesitation this holiday season.

Retailers are fighting back, bringing a message of holiday cheer and joy to the masses. Among the glut of retailers jumping on the trend of “joywashing” (the use of positive imagery, mantras and images in branding and advertising) are struggling Gap, JC Penney, Wal-Mart and Macy’s, all debuting holiday ad campaigns this month, brimming with glee.

In their first holiday television campaign since 2006, Gap captures the pop culture zeitgeist. Plaid clad performers take the screen, dancing and cheering the return of the holidays. The commercial capitalizes on the success of the FOX television show “Glee,” which features performances by a fictional high school glee club and cheer team.

The Gap campaign is a distinct effort by the retailer to counter the effects of the recession. According to executive vice president of marketing, Ivy Ross, Gap developed the campaign concept to be “optimistic and bold,” countering the idea that “you can’t be happy this year because we’re going through a crisis.” What better way to “liberate the consumer” than with actual cheerleaders?Continue reading...

brand news

Headline Roundup: Big Box Holiday

Posted by Stephanie Startz on November 12, 2009 08:20 AM

To raise cash and pay down debt, Motorola looks to split into three companies. [NY Times]

Hewlett-Packard acquires computer network provider 3Com. [NY Times]

Ford's European auto sales rise 13% in October, a 12-year high. [WSJ

Marks & Spencer considers expanding across Europe once again. [Times of London]

Best Buy promises an "aggressive" rollout across Europe. [FT]

Combative host Lou Dobbs resigns from CNN. [NY Times]

Europe's big four supermarkets predict a "feisty" holiday season. [FT]

Disney streamlines marketing, sells films simultaneously across multiple platforms. [WSJ]

(More headlines: Gap, JC Penney, Target, Nikon campaigns.)Continue reading...


Macy's Reprises "Believe" Holiday Campaign

Posted by Stephanie Startz on November 9, 2009 05:12 PM

macy's believe

The holiday season is a time for giving thanks, celebrating with friends and family and taking part in time-honored tradition. And what brand says “Home for the Holidays” more than Macy’s?

Drawing on its storied history as sponsor of The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and starring role in Miracle On 34th Street, Macy’s is confident its heritage brand will resonate with consumers this holiday season. The retailer is attempting a do-over from last year's dismal sales season, and is tying their holiday promotions to last years “Believe” campaign.

“Believe” draws not only on the brand's association with the Thanksgiving Parade in New York City and the film Miracle On 34th Street, but harks back to the 1897 New York Sun editorial, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”Continue reading...


New Toyota Flowers: Greenwashing Meets Joywashing At Prius Plant

Posted by Stephanie Startz on November 9, 2009 09:53 AM

Tiptoe through the tulips with Toyota?

The automaker is increasing the “green” profile of its Prius operations (which, as you read here last week, is slated for possible spinoff into a sub-branded "family of vehicles") through environmentally conscious production plants, setting in place a slew of carbon offsets in an effort to disquiet critics over the Prius’ allegedly limited fuel standards.

Toyota has even created two flower species, derived from the cherry sage plant and the gardenia, planted outside the company’s Toyota City, Japan plant in an effort to absorb harmful gases, create water vapor, reduce surface temperature and lower the plant's energy usage, offsetting its overall CO2 emissions.Continue reading...

branding together

Evian Tries To Joywash Away the Bottled Water Blues

Posted by Ingrid Fetell on September 25, 2009 04:43 PM

It's no secret that the bottled water industry is headed for life support. Between rising environmental consciousness and a sagging economy, showing off your premium water label is about as socially acceptable an image as Ruth Madoff shopping at Hermés. So it's no surprise that trendspotters greeted the latest designer water bottle, a collaboration between Evian and Paul Smith, with a giant collective yawn.

The collaboration strikes a remarkably different tone than past notable designer waters (Ty Nant and Lovegrove, Evian and Gaultier, Glacier and Starck). In the bad old days when water was a status symbol, packaging values emphasized luxe cues: elegant typography, sleek curves, and delicate surface treatments. The purported functional benefit was purity, an image conveyed by a general tendency towards minimalism. But luxe is out, and now that the display of wealth is considered distasteful, premium water is searching for relevance to the cultural mood.Continue reading...

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