Best Global Green Brands 2014

corporate citizenship

Yes to Giving: Target Aims to Donate $25 Million to School Kids in Need

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 9, 2014 02:02 PM

According to a 2013 study, US public school teachers spent about $3.2 billion on classroom supplies in the 2012-2013 school year, an estimated $1.6 billion from their own pockets, or about $500 a year per teacher. And that's not including what families provide to teachers so their kids are equipped to learn.

That's why Target is upping its corporate citizenship commitment with a variation on TOMS one-for-one model by partnering with Yoobi, a Target-exclusive brand of colorful school supplies and a tag line that promotes the partnership, “One for you, one for me.” Today, Target announced it's aiming to donate up to $25 millon in supplies this upcoming back-to-school as part of this education commitment.

Yoobi, a clever twist on "You Be," launched at Target.com and in-store on June 1 as part of its Made to Matter collection of pro-social brands. For any purchase from the colorful collection of folders, notebooks, pens, crayons, glue sticks and rulers, Target will contribute to classroom packs that contain 900 items, about enough for one K-3 class of 30 students per year. Continue reading...

brand extensions

Common Score: Angry Birds Targets Education and Common Core Debate

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 8, 2014 10:55 AM

Finland's Rovio, creator of the Angry Birds juggernaut, this week announced a surprising brand extension: education. The game-maker is now marketing early childhood curriculum worldwide based on the popular app which has seen billions of downloads worldwide.

Angry Birds Playground is based on the Finnish national curriculum for Kindergarten (ages 3 to 6). According to the Washington Post, it's a mash-up of free play, physical exercise and tech tools, “a reconfigured learning environment, as well as some of the popular Angry Birds characters, to maximize learning through engagement.”

Finland wants to corner the global market on fun learning. Decidedly different from Japan or South Korea (where students routinely get top-scores on international tests), compulsory education in Finland begins at seven, the school day is shorter than in most other countries and there are no nationalized tests.

"It's not just games we're talking about here: it's a full 360-degree approach to learning, where games are just one part of it. It's not learning by sitting down and playing with a digital device," Rovio VP of learning and book publishing Sanna Lukander commented to the Guardian. "There's a real substance to it, and a healthy balance between rest, play and work.”

"We have to think about the children," Angry Birds co-founder, "Mighty Eagle" and CMO Peter Vesterbacka commented on Twitter. "Let kids be kids longer. Learn through play #funlearning."Continue reading...

Sports Illustrated Throws Caution to the Wind for 50th Anniversary Barbie Issue

Posted by Dale Buss on February 12, 2014 04:04 PM

In a brand collaboration that could be described as the "Anti-Dove" campaign, Barbie and Sports Illustrated are getting together to celebrate the 50th anniversary edition of the magazine's swimsuit issue. And not surprisingly, social media has been atwitter over the implications.

The half-century edition of Sports Illlustrated's biggest issue of each year will hit newsstands and the internet next week, and it presents Barbie as a doll-size version of some of the magazine's supermodels, clad in a new version of the black-and-white swimsuit the Mattel doll wore when she was introduced in 1959.

It's a surprising partnership, to be sure, starting with the the fact that Barbie is aimed (mostly) at girls and Sports Illustrated is aimed (mostly) at men, which raises uncomfortable questions about why they're getting together. (Yes, Barbie is for adult collectors, too—that's why there will be a limited edition Sports Illustrated Barbie at Target).

The co-branded special issue is launching with a campaign called "Unapologetic", as both brands' owners clearly anticipated the hullaballoo that would ensue when two icons of hyperphotogenic femininity got together to get even more in the faces of their long-time foes.Continue reading...

digital moves

DreamWorks Teams Up with Fuhu for Kid-Friendly Tablet Debut at CES

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 3, 2014 06:51 PM

What do you get when you pair Fuhu’s Nabi with DreamWorks? DreamTab, a tablet for kids for under $300, available this spring chock-full of original content. The new tablet, which will feature animated characters from studio hits including Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon and Kung-fu Panda, will debut at next week's CES 2014 conference in Las Vegas.

Thanks to programming and content from DreamWorks, the 8-inch by 12-inch device will allow kids to stream movies, TV shows and play games with various innovative parental controls and educational tools, according to Fuhu's press release.

The Google Android-powered tablet computer (using the new 4.4 Kit Kat Android based operating system) will be programmed like a cable channel. “We could push out a new character moment every day of the year,” Jim Mainard, the studio's head of digital strategy and new business development, told the New York Times.

“The moments will include stuff like drawing lessons from DreamWorks animators and more, SlashGear notes. “The tablet is also tipped to get tech allowing it to work with DreamWorks toys... and will also have the ability to send instant messages and email.”Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Justin Bieber Worries Parents Everywhere, Backs Selfie-Sharing App for Teens

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 11, 2013 05:31 PM

Parents, brace yourselves: Justin Bieber has invested $1.1 million in Shots of Me, a mobile selfie-sharing network that's targeting his own fan base, teens and pre-teens. With almost 47 million Twitter followers—second only to Katy Perry—Bieber is a big catch as an investor and a pop-culture influencer of unprecedented power.

He joins investors Shervin Pishevar, Tom McInerney and boxer Floyd Mayweather, and John and Sam Shahidi, whose RockLive social startup is behind the new selfie-enabling app, which is exclusively available for download starting this week in the iTunes App Store.Continue reading...

going mobile

Disney, MTV Test Mobile-First Premieres of New Shows

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 28, 2013 11:21 AM

Mobile is fast becoming the first screen for entertainment—at least for the younger, digitally-attuned set. And now two of the most popular TV brands targeting children and young adults are testing the waters by debuting new series on the smaller screen.

Disney Channel will premiere the first nine episodes of Sheriff Callie’s Wild West on its Watch Disney Junior mobile app and a related website on Nov. 24, followed by a traditional debut on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior in early 2014. “This is an entirely new approach for us,” Nancy Kanter, EVP/GM for Disney Junior Worldwide, told the New York Times. “We have been amazed at how quickly kids have embraced this new technology. We’re talking billions of minutes spent watching.”

MTV, skewing slightly older, is going mobile-first to debut its new series, Wait 'Til Next Year, a 12-episode docudrama about a losing football team, ahead of its on-ahir US TV debut on Nov. 1. "It will be fun to see if we can get them to come back and watch on television," commented Kristin Frank, MTV's EVP connected content, to AP.

Both moves comes as marketers will start receiving more data about mobile TV viewing, with Nielsen starting to get its arms around the effectiveness and reach of mobile video globally. With more than one billion Internet users worldwide, Nielsen projects "a $30 billion global advertising market" and estimates that 73 percent of U.S. adults already consumer online user-generated media.

If MTV and Disney Channel have their way, it won't all just be cat videos driving that mobile video adoption, particularly with more comprehensive measurement of mobile video consumption becoming mainstream.Continue reading...

what girls want

Girl Scouts Taps Into American Girls' Hopes and Dreams with New Campaign

Posted by Dale Buss on October 15, 2013 01:47 PM

No doubt Girl Scouts of the USA and other longtime organizations for kids have been hit hard by societal and cultural trends including the lure of other afterschool activities, a generational de-emphasis of some traditional community touchpoints, and a dwindling availability of stay-at-home parental volunteers.

Now the Girl Scouts are leveraging at least one of those same factors—social media—to attempt to turn the tables on a recent decline in new members and "troop" leaders with a new advertising campaign under the tag line, "I can't wait to ..."

Leading brand consultancy (and brandchannel parent) Interbrand re-imagined the brand's iconic Girl Scout Trefoil symbol and used it as the visual starting point for the new campaign by transforming it into a dynamic "Kaleidoscope" storytelling device that serves as a metaphor for the ever-changing experiences girls can have in the Scouts, according to a press release.Continue reading...

brand challenges

McDonald's Promotes Reading, Healthy Eating with Happy Meal Books—But Is It Enough?

Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2013 04:27 PM

McDonald's certainly can't win with some critics. Its new promotion involves giving away millions of books that will advance both children's literacy and their understanding of healthy eating. But all some people see are a cynical way to sell more fast food.

Which, of course, is what McDonald's is in business to do. It'd be tough to make a mass business, employ all those workers and pay all those taxes with a trade that offered only, say, hand-made artisan sandwiches of artichokes and avocados with a chaser of kombucha.

In lieu of toys, McDonald's US plans to distribute more than 20 million paperback books inside its Happy Meals in the US during the first half of November, a gambit which could make it the country's "largest children's book publisher for the month," as Ad Age observed.

The move is "yet another effort to appease criticis who have lambasted its Happy Meals for the food quality, the licensed toys and kid-targeted marketing," noted USA Today. The brand launched a similar effort back in the UK back in January, where it received much the same criticism.Continue reading...

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