Best Global Green Brands 2014

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Android and Amazon's Kindle Fire platform, are the cable brand's first major attempt to fill a gaping hole in kid-sized historical content.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...

auto motive

Jaguar Dusts Off Iconic Lightweight E-Type for Historic Concours Event

Posted by Dale Buss on August 12, 2014 03:29 PM

The more Jaguar recovers from its near-death experience a few years ago, the more the brand can afford to look back at its original glory days. That seems to be behind Jaguar's move to revive an old racing vehicle known as the Lightweight E-type and display it at the Pebble Beach Concours in California this weekend.

Jaguar then plans to sell the new E-types, which Top Gear calls a "beauty of a time traveller," as "period competition" vehicles to some very demanding hobbyists who want to race them in classic car rallies, which is why they'll be offered first to existing Jaguar collectors.

The roots of the project date back a half century—to 1963, to be precise. That's when Jaguar—owned for the last few years, along with Land Rover, by India's Tata Group—built 12 of 18 planned "Special GT E-type" project cars for the race course. The remaining six were never built until now.Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

Inspiration Behind Aunt Jemima Brand at the Heart of $2 Billion Lawsuit

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 11, 2014 06:37 PM

Aunt Jemima stares down from grocery-store shelves with a beatific smile, but the woman who is supposedly the inspiration behind the brand has at least one great grandchild who isn’t too happy.

Last year, the progeny of Anna Short Harrington, whose descendants argue that she was the inspiration behind the Aunt Jemima brand and recipe and whose likeness served as the model for the brand, which was bought by Quaker Oats in 1935, discovered that the company “had trademarked Harrington's likeness and picture in 1937" and "determined that they were owed royalties,” Reuters reports.

Harrington's great-grandson, D.W. Hunter, filed a $2 billion lawsuit on August 5 against Quaker Oats Co., PepsiCo, which owns Quaker Oats, Pinnacle Foods and Hillshire Brands Co., for exploiting Harrington's image and recipe for years without paying an "equitable fair share of royalties" to her family.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Happy Birthday, Potter: 17 Years Later, Harry Potter is Bigger than Ever Before

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 31, 2014 05:43 PM

Born July 31, 1980 (and brought to life in 1997 when "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was published), no one likely could have predicted the mind-boggling success that would become Harry Potter. 

And while the character in the books spent his childhood birthdays with the abhorrent Dursleys, here in the Muggle world, the date (which also happens to be author J.K. Rowling's birthday) symbolizes a celebration for the millions of Potterheads and numerous marketers that have helped fuel the Potter machine with fanatical loyalty. That loyalty to the books, films and countless other branded products have helped make Harry Potter one of the top 10 best-selling products in the world. 

While the series has seemingly wrapped up, there is no end in sight for Harry Potter, the brand.Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

From Kim K to Karl Lagerfeld, Celebrities are Cashing In on Branded Products

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 24, 2014 03:55 PM

It’s not enough to just be a superstar these days, with millions of adoring fans and multitudes of followers on social media. Instead, celebrities from all walks of life are turning their personal brands into actual businesses with products and services that you never knew you needed.  

Case in point: Kim Kardashian's blockbuster mobile game “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.” The Sims-like game is sitting at No. 1 on the iTunes free app chart and reportedly brought in $200 million in the few months that it's been live. Kardashian, according to Forbes, will take home around $85 million of that thanks to her near 50 percent stake in the game. While the game "is ridiculous. It’s laughable. It grates on your nerves after awhile," the Washington Post reports, "it’s nearly impossible to look away.” 

Reflecting the Kardashian brand, now a multimillion-dollar empire, the app lets users achieve various levels of gameplay on their way to becoming an “A-list” celebrity with Kim as a guide. In-app purchases of Kim Coins drive revenue through the roof for the fairly simple app, which has a 5-star rating.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

YouTube Creators are Commanding Major Money, Attention from Big Brands

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 22, 2014 06:15 PM

The proverbial casting couch has been replaced by homegrown YouTube stars, and this year's 18,000-plus attendees of VidCon's fifth annual conference is proof positive that online content creators are a big business. 

Google’s YouTube is the training ground for young, ambitious creatives seeking fame and with 72 hours of video uploaded every minute to channels with thousands of subscribers, the phenomenon of video bloggers is becoming more lucrative by the day—for creators, and the major brands that want to sponsor them. 

“I think [online video content] is a huge cultural phenomenon that no one can take credit for or explain or understand,” said VidCon co-founder Hank Green. “We’re all just sort of watching it happen and trying to reflect it and ride along with it in the most effective ways we can.”

Over the past four years, video has exploded into prime real estate for advertisers as digital video ad spend rose to $4.2 billion last year, and is projected to reach $6 billion this year. And with many vloggers speaking to younger audiences that are the target of big brands, the business opportunites seem endless.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Protecting the Sport of Fitness: In and Out of the Box, CrossFit Defends Its Brand

Posted by Nicole Briggs on July 22, 2014 02:04 PM

CrossFit: chances are you’ve tried it, either loved it (or hated it) or know someone who can’t live without it. The fitness phenomenon launched by Greg Glassman in 2000 has grown from cult popularity to an expansive lifestyle brand based off its strength and conditioning programs.  

Today, there are more than 9,000 affiliated gyms, and although CrossFit Inc. licenses its name to those gyms for an annual fee, having thousands of affiliated locations across the world makes it extremely hard to fish out the reals from the fakes. 

After all, part of the success of a brand could be directly related to the how well they police their trademark(s), and CrossFit's legal team is no stranger to the good ol' cease and desist letter. The brand has previously gone after Cross Gym, CrossFat, Caldera Cross-Fit, CrossFitFood and Don’t Cross Me, I’m Fit, to name a few. 

The brand has an even greater responsibility to protect its name thanks to the lucrative 10-year deal it signed with Reebok in 2010 that has been largely responsible for the brand's mainstream proliferation with branded workout gear, Reebok-branded CrossFit gyms and its title sponsorship of the annual CrossFit Games, which kick off this Friday.Continue reading...

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