ho-ho-holidays

Penguin Love: It's That Time of the Year for John Lewis, the Store and the Man

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 6, 2014 01:48 PM

British retailer John Lewis has made headlines for itself since 2006 by putting out an annual short film holiday advertisement to great fanfare. Aside from being a heartwarming, music-driven spot, the ads always noticeably go out of their way to not showcase anything about the department store itself.

The videos have become an annual event of sorts for the department store, an indicator that the holiday shopping season is upon us. This year’s edition, revealed online today ahead of Friday's TV debut in the UK, tells the sweet story of a lad and his lovelorn Monty the penguin, set to British Breakthrough Artist nominee Tom Odell singing John Lennon’s Real Love.

There's also an in-store virtual reality experience, a mobile app, an online game and much, much more.Continue reading...

that's entertainment

Disney, Apple and Google 'Play Nice' With Disney Movies Anywhere Deal

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 4, 2014 11:11 AM

Disney, Apple and Google today announced a landmark partnership in Disney Movies Anywhere, which is now available on Google Play and iTunes in the U.S.

Expanding the platform to Google Play, as the Wall Street Journal puts it, marks "an unprecedented agreement" that sees three of Hollywood and Silicon Valley's finally play nice.Continue reading...

chew on this

Will Kids Take a Bite of Disney's Frozen and Spider-Man Branded Apples?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 17, 2014 12:01 PM

Let it go... into your grocery cart.

Apples may not have had anything to do with the plot of last year’s megahit Frozen, but that doesn’t mean the marketing geniuses at Disney don't see the fruit (which got such a bad rap, after all, in Snow White) as an opportunity to continue the momentum and get kids to eat healthier.

Disney, the 13th Best Global Brand (which turned 91 this week), has been on a kick to get kids to eat better since 2006. Since then, more than 4.1 billion servings of Disney-branded fruits and vegetables have been served up, while sales of its branded fruits and vegetables have tripled just in the last two years.

Now comes the latest Disney-branded produce, just in time for holiday baking: bags of apples branded with either characters from Frozen or Spider-Man. Why should grocers stock (and shoppers buy) Spidey apples and Frozen fruit?Continue reading...

creative snack

Live From MIPCOM: Thoughts on Brand Storytelling from LEGO, Disney and Netflix

Posted by brandchannel staff on October 14, 2014 04:04 PM

MIPCOM, the world's entertainment content market, is taking place in France through Thursday, with buyers, producers and Oculus Rift-testers checking out the latest in content and branded programming. A peek at some of the sessions in case you're not fortunate enough to be in Cannes this week, including a chat with Jill Wilfert, Vice President, Global Licensing And Entertainment, Lego Group; Anne Sweeney from Disney; and Ned Sarandos of Netflix.Continue reading...

bc q&a

History in the Making: 5 Questions with A+E's Dan Suratt on HISTORY's Planet H

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 19, 2014 01:33 PM

A+E Networks' HISTORY channel has launched a unique brand extension that taps today's technology to engage kids with the past. Planet H launched  earlier this month with two mobile games that will encourage learning through play.

The games, priced at $2.99 each and available on iOS, Android and Amazon's Kindle Fire platform, are the cable brand's first major attempt to fill a gaping hole in kid-sized historical content. Developed in partnership with RED Games, which has developed apps for other A+E Networks brands, the games allow young users to explore past empires and the American frontier on their mobile device of choice. 

"The idea to bring a younger audience to the HISTORY brand has been kicking around for years, but up until recently there's been nowhere for it to live," Dan Suratt, A+E’s EVP of digital media and brand and content licensing, told Ad Age. "Now we have all of these other platforms and devices that appeal to younger demos like tablets and smartphones that make it easy to reach these demos without making huge financial commitment."

brandchannel Editor-in-Chief Shirley Brady chatted with Suratt to talk Planet H, mobile-first branding and future brand extensions and experiences.Continue reading...

campaigns

Goodbye, Kitty: Japan Sends Hello Kitty into Orbit to Boost Space Program

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 14, 2014 01:42 PM

NASA isn't the only space program in jeopardy. Japan, for one, is also trying to re-engage young minds with the fascinations of space using a tried and true method: Hello Kitty.

The iconic figure, which is celebrating its 40th birthday, has created billions of dollars in revenue for its owner, Sanrio, and Japan hopes that its internationally-recognized animated toy will drive the same kind of cultural interest for its space program. 

To get more private companies interested in using satellites, the government has invested $40 million toward the project, Reuters reports. The satellite carrying the 1.6-inch Hello Kitty figurine was fine-tuned over a couple of months of experimentation and is about the size of a garbage can.Continue reading...

campaigns

Gap Goes Cute and Dell Goes Cool for Back to School Season Campaigns

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 13, 2014 11:12 AM

With kids across the US trickling back to school over the next few weeks ahead of Labor Day, Gap is kicking its back-to-school campaign into high gear coming off a 2 percent sales boost in July. This year, the company is pulling out a major social effort tied to the brand's newest social presence, @GapKids

The launch of @GapKids includes a new contest, GapKids Class of 2014, that invites “parents to submit photos of their kids for the chance to be featured in a 2015 GapKids marketing campaign,” according to a company press release. All that enter will receive “a socially sharable moving image video of their child that encapsulates the GapKids aesthetic.” Gap has had a similar program, Casting Call, for the last six years, but this year's marks a much bigger investment in social media marketing.

The hope is that parents, who the National Retail Federation says will spend nearly $75 billion on back-to-school spending, will head to the @GapKids Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest channels to share and comment on parenting-related stories.Continue reading...

retail

Aeropostale Crops Its Brand to Reveal Younger, Fresher AERO

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 4, 2014 01:46 PM

Aeropostale is just the latest former cool kids brand to give itself a facelift in light of increasing competition from fast fashion brands including Forever 21, H&M and Uniqlo. 

The clothing retailer has launched Aero Now with a campaign that shows off the brand's new visual and verbal identity in stores, with AERO now its name on its stores, on its website (even if the URL aero.com is already claimed) and across mobile and social media (as Mobile Commerce Daily noted) that's timed to this week's back-to-school push across North American retail.

Its new positioning is summarized in the tagline, "You've changed, so we've changed" — which hints at the major restructuring underway at the brand.Continue reading...

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