celebrity brandmatch

How David Beckham Plans to Become an Even Bigger Star in China

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 27, 2015 01:01 PM

David Beckham Marina Bay Sands commercial

David Beckham’s soccer skills have taken him all over the globe and made him fabulously wealthy (and famous) in the process—but he's not resting on those laurels. While retired from the beautiful game, the 39-year-old is more active than ever, including working with the likes of adidas, H&M and Diageo.

His next focus is on building his brand in China, where he's embarking on a major push to become a bigger brand than Hello Kitty—or at least bigger than his wife Victoria's burgeoning fashion empire.

Such Beckham-branded products as sportswear, footwear, casualwear, high-tech and skincare will be headed to China this year as part of the footie star's venture with Hong Kong-based Global Brands Group, a spin-off of Li & Fung. The licensing deal, which originated with an agreement last year, aims to create a multi-billion dollar business in China in the next five years.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Baselworld 2015: Arnold Schwarzenegger Debuts Movie-Inspired Watch Collection

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 21, 2015 12:14 PM

Arnold Schwarzenegger watch logo

Inspired by the many watches placed on his wrist in movies over the years as a result of product placement deals—and his own collection of 50+ luxury watches—Arnold Schwarzenegger is expanding his personal brand to timepieces.

Partnering with Brazilian watchmaker Magnum Group, the former governor of California on Friday unveiled a watch collection at Baselworld, the industry's biggest annual showcase where TAG Heuer just announced a smartwatch with Google and Intel and fellow Cali celebpreneur will.i.am revealed a fashionable smartband partner in Gucci.Continue reading...

brand evolution

Build-A-Bear Goes Digital: CMO Gina Collins on Engaging "Beyond the Plush"

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 20, 2015 02:16 PM

Ever since Gina Collins joined Build-A-Bear Workshop as CMO last year from Coca-Cola, her mission has remained the same: Maintain the brand’s core promise and move it into the digital age. 

The first Build-A-Bear store opened in 1997, and today there are over 400 stores worldwide—and more than 125 million furry friends travelling around the globe.

Build-A-Bear continues to focus on creative play, and each child selects a heart as they build their friends. A retail makeover program will start refreshing its stores, while it experimented with a pop-up in New York City's Times Square and temporary boutiques at Macy's and other retailers this past holiday season. On the digital side, the seven-year-old Bearville.com is shutting down with users being sent to buildabear.com/play instead.

Licensed toys continue to be a hit. Appealing to collectors of all ages, the company’s co-branded products include a Disney Princess line (with a limited edition $80 Cinderella Bear tied to the live action movie), a just-launched Easter collection and products inspired by Disney’s Frozen and Marvel characters in addition to Hasbro’s My Little Pony property. (Coming up: a collection tied to Disney's December release of JJ Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII.)

brandchannel spoke with Collins about how Build-A-Bear is evolving to address today’s—and tomorrow's—customers.Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

will.i.am Calling: Star Plugs Puls at Mobile World Congress, Ekocycle in London

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 6, 2015 02:03 PM

will.i.am Puls smartwatch wearable tech

will.i.am's business card runneth over: musician, entrepreneur, actor, DJ, producer, creative director, car designer (for Lexus and himself), eco-collaborator (with Coca-Cola), investor (with Beats) philanthropist—and on, and on, and on and on.

Clearly he (a) doesn't need much sleep; (b) keeps finding new ways to leverage his personal brand; and (c) loves technology, as demonstrated this week.

First stop: Barcelona, for the 2015 Mobile World Congress. He was there to talk up his Puls wearable tech platform while spinning not music but future-forward jargon, such as “thumbing through life,” “screenagers,” “i-data-ty”—and calling for an ethical stance in 3D printing of human body parts.Continue reading...

license to thrill

Classic Toy Brands Look to the Future at the 2015 New York Toy Fair

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 17, 2015 11:01 AM

Hello Barbie ToyTalk talking doll

The 112th annual North American Toy Fair is on in New York, with licensing partnerships bringing together brands that tap into the toy industry's top trends of 2015, from the maker movement to tech innovation and beyond.

Case in point: Mattel is partnering with Google to reinvent the View-Master from its 1939 roots as a proto-3D virtual reality device, relying on cardboard disks with stereoscopic images inserted in a plastic device and observed through a viewfinder.

Now View-Master is using a different kind of cardboard: Google Cardboard, which uses an Android smartphone app to deliver a 360-degree animated environment.Continue reading...


007 Branding: Jaguar Land Rover Joins SPECTRE Product Placement Roster

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 10, 2015 11:08 AM

James Bond has come a long way since the gray 1933 Bentley convertible he drove in Ian Fleming’s first novel about the superspy, moving through several fleets of luxury cars since then, each with a special trick or two, from flipping license plate and missiles to turning into a plane.

Fleming was only alive to see the first two Bond films hit the theaters. While those certainly did well, he could have no idea what kind of cultural icon (and massive moneymaker) he left behind. That money keeps pouring in, including product placements for brands including Red Stripe and Heineken.  

One of the most coveted placements for any Bond film is in the automotive category, as Jaguar Land Rover can attest, having just announced three of its vehicles that will appear in this November’s "SPECTRE," the 24th Bond film that is now in production in England with Daniel Craig back as Bond and Sam Mendes directing.Continue reading...

that's entertainment

The HoloGrammy Goes To... Dead Musicians Hit the Comeback Trail

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 6, 2015 01:11 PM

Michael Jackson hologram Billboard Music Awards

Musicians of all stripes will be taking the stage this Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to perform and pick up their Grammy awards. It remains to be seen, however, if any of the performances will actually be by dead musicians.

Hologram performances are a big trend (as if living musicians don’t already find it tough enough to break into the business) with dead performers making a virtual comeback thanks to to licensing deals and digital technology. Bringing back artists with huge fan bases also gooses sales in the troubled music industry, of course.

Tupac Shakur’s hologram “performed” at the 2012 Coachella, though Public Enemy frontman Chuck D isn’t sure the singer would have approved. "I don't know if Pac would have been all right with that," he said at a panel at the new Grammy museum, Billboard reports. "Would he have been smiling or swinging with a stick?"

Last year, Michael Jackson made a virtual reappearance at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards. Fan reaction to his moonwalking performance ranged from "epic" to "creepy," and caused some legal headaches for HologramUSA, the company behind the spooky spectacle. Now HologramUSA, which also enabled Tupac's Coachella gig, is back with another back-from-the-dead musical tour.Continue reading...

CES Watch

The Comeback Brand: 5 Questions With Kodak CMO Steven Overman

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 9, 2015 04:04 PM

Kodak technology innovation graphic

The Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas saw the return and reinvention of a well-loved brand across a new array of consumer products.

Returning to the show for the first time in three years, and just a year after emerging from bankruptcy, Kodak came to CES 2015 with a roster of licensing partners who are bringing its iconic logo to some unexpected places, from a baby monitor (a CES Innovation Awards honoree) to the brand's first smartphone.

brandchannel caught up with Steven Overman, Kodak's Global Chief Marketing Officer (since Oct. 1st) and President of its Consumer and Film Division, during the CES fray to find out more about the comeback strategy—and also some insights into his new book, The Conscience Economy, about why and how brands must embrace corporate citizenship.Continue reading...

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